What are plain packs?

Plain or standardised packaging means all cigarette packs will look the same. They are packaged in a standard shape without branding, design or a logo. Often called simply "plain packs", the packs are not plain at all. Features of plain packs include:

  • The shape, colour and method of opening the pack will be the same, no matter what brand of cigarettes it is;
  • Cigarette packs will be a standard shape, size and colour;
  • Picture and text health warnings will take up the majority of space on the packs;
  • Brand names will be in standard type face, colour and size;
  • The duty paid stamp will remain with covert markings that show the pack is not counterfeit

In the video below, our Head of Advocacy, Kathleen O' Meara says that plain packaging is not a plain white box as the tobacco industry would have some people believe.

Standardised packs will still carry the sophisticated markings, health warnings and other labels currently on packs.

The Revenue Commissioners and the Gardaí have both stated that plain packaging will not affect their work in tackling smuggling.

See our briefing notes below for more information on #PlainPacks.


An example of plain packs

Young people and plain packs

Find out how young people are influenced by branding on tobacco products.

Watch our video

Date Last Revised: 
Friday, April 10, 2015