A shopkeeper reaches for a packet of Marlboro cigarettes in London
A shopkeeper reaches for a packet of Marlboro cigarettes in London in this file photo taken November 28, 2013. Cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc cut its earnings forecast for 2014 and said it is proving to be a "complex and truly atypical" year for the company. Reuters

A study by the British Heart Foundation, number one heart charity in the UK found that smokers have double the chance to notice health warnings on products with tobacco that have packaging that is free from advertisements. The study took into account around 3,000 smokers and ex-smokers from Australia as well as the United Kingdom who were asked questions based on the removal of the advertisements on the tobacco packages.

According to the Herald Sun, the report showed that only 34 percent of the participants of the study took notice of the health warnings before they took in any other information in 2010. After the legislation was implemented regarding the stripping of branding in the tobacco packages in December 2012, it was found that 66 percent of the participants took notice of the health warnings. This shows that after the legislation came into place and the packages were stripped of the advertisements, the number of smokers and ex-smokers who noticed the health warnings had doubled.

Reports found that the smoking rates in Australia had dropped down drastically from 2010 to 2013. Only 12.8 percent of people aged above 14 years are found to be smoking daily.

Branded packaging is still in existence in the UK. Just around 24 percent of the people in the UK who smoke or used to smoke took note of the health warnings before their eyes noticed the advertisements on it. It was also found by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, an activity report by the National Health Service, that after the standardised packaging came into place, 83 percent of the Australians did not like the way the tobacco products looked. The activity report also showed that in the UK, about 19 percent of those above the age of 18 smoked.

The support for the stripping of the advertisement in the tobacco packages in Australia had doubled from 28 percent in 2010 to 51 percent in 2013. The British Heart Foundation as well as other UK charities have urged the British government to take to standardised packaging before the general elections and said that the report by the British Heart Foundation shows evidence of the effectiveness of the measure.