London: Scientists have developed unique 'talking' cigarette packets with recorded messages that encourage people to quit smoking. (Agencies)
Researchers from Stirling University's Centre for Tobacco Control Research in the UK created two talking cigarette packets with different messages.
One packet offered smokers a phone number for advice on quitting smoking and another warned that smoking reduces fertility, a daily reported.
The technology behind the recorded messages is similar to the one used in singing birthday cards where a message plays when the lid is opened. The packs are fitted with a voice recording and playback unit so that the message will be replayed whenever the packet is opened.
The researchers were inspired by tobacco companies who have been making packaging more attractive for consumers. They wanted to find out if similar tactics could work against the companies and encourage people to give up the habit, rather than keep buying.
"It is possible in the future we may see packs that play music or talk, so we wanted to see if that could be used for our purposes," Crawford Moodie, one of the researchers, said.
The devices have been tested on young women, between the ages of 16 and 24, as this remains one of the groups with high smoking rates in the UK.
Volunteers said that they found the messages about fertility "hard-hitting" and "off-putting". Girls aged 16-17 in particular said that it would make them think about quitting.
However, other volunteers said that the messages could lead them to quitting or cutting back simply because they were so annoying.
London: Scientists have developed unique 'talking' cigarette packets with recorded messages that encourage people to quit smoking.