07/02/2013 10:42 EDT

Talking Cigarette Packs Could Help Smokers Quit


Imagine a Hallmark card that greets the recipient with a jingle or a funny joke.

Now imagine a pack of cigarettes that warns you of the dangers of smoking whenever it's opened.

Researchers at Stirling University in Scotland have done just that, creating "talking" cigarette packs that play recorded warning messages to smokers, according to the BBC.

The audio clips warn users of the dangers of smoking, as well as the connection between smoking and fertility. One packet even advertises a phone number to call for advice on quitting.

Interestingly enough, the inspiration for the research came from cigarette companies making flashier packs for their customers, the Times of India reports.

"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," said Crawford Moodie, one of the researchers.

"This research shows how the idea can be used to promote 'positive health' to smokers," he told the BBC.

The product was initially tested on women between the ages of 16 and 24, a group with one of the highest smoking rates in the U.K.. Some of the test subjects said the clips on the smoking-fertility connection were "hard-hitting” and “off-putting," according to The Scotsman.

Other volunteers had mixed feelings about the new pack.

“I think you would probably get used to it … once you start smoking you just ignore it,” one volunteer said.

The Stirling team's study will continue, with tests on bigger groups of men and women set to begin soon.

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