Feel Good

What Color Gets Smokers to Quit?

Hint: It’s pretty gross.

BY June 23, 2016


This greenish-brown hue is called "Opache couché." Or, as smokers know it, the least attractive color in the world.

Cigarette cartons in Australia come in this color (and also feature grotesque photos to dissuade people from smoking), and the United Kingdom, Ireland and France all plan on requiring packaging to come in this color, as well.

The crowning of the world’s worst color came after months of research in 2012 by marketing firm GfK Bluemoon as to what shades would minimize the appeal of purchasing cigarettes. (Smokers compared the color to death or filth, among other such unpleasantness.) The Australian government says its packaging changes have done wonders to reduce smoking in the country, and recent research also backs those claims.

The battle has now come to the United States, but the powerful tobacco lobby has blocked any attempts to change any requirements placed on packaging.

However, it may not matter much anyway. Smoking rates in the United States are dropping faster than ever. Only about 15 percent of Americans smoke regularly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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