Science & Medical |

Research | Australia, you stink! And you're equally anxious about it


PRESS RELEASE – A national survey released today has found almost 8 in 10 Aussies believe they have bad breath to some degree and are equally anxious about it; so much so they would prefer to confront a friend about their partner cheating1. The report commissioned by LISTERINE® Go! Tabs explored the state of bad breath anxiety in Australia, uncovering the broader social impacts the issue can have.


A fear of bad breath is one of the most anxiety inducing social situations for a large majority of Australians, the survey found. In fact, bad breath anxiety is so severe that Aussies are more fearful of being told they have poor smelling breath or telling a friend they had bad breath than being bitten by a spider or public speaking to a group of people1.

Australian dentist and oral hygiene expert, Dr David Hills said, “Bad breath is definitely up there with the most common reasons for patients coming into the clinic. More and more, we’re seeing patients anxious about their breath and desperately looking for effective solutions, for everyday situations. Sometimes there’s a health reason contributing to bad breath, but often it’s also needing to improve their daily oral care routines. 


It might seem trivial, but we can all relate to the embarrassment of being called out for having bad breath in an intimate situation. What is concerning is the extent of anxiety caused, by worrying about having fresh breath all the time and being prepared in any situation.”


LISTERINE® scientists have developed a revolutionary, world-first solution to address the need for truly fresh breath and a whole-mouth clean, anytime and anywhere. LISTERINE® GO! TABS™ come in the form of a solid tablet, that transforms into a liquid once chewed, to be easily swished around the entire mouth and then swallowed – all in less than one minute.

Belinda Driscoll, Marketing Director at Johnson & Johnson Pacific said, “We know that bad breath anxiety can be crippling, especially in a social or work setting. We are very excited to be offering a new way to eliminate bad breath odours, allowing those worried about breath freshness to get on with their day, with total confidence.


LISTERINE® has been redefining oral care for over a century, exploring new and innovative ways to improve oral care and breath. Our new product, LISTERINE® Go! Tabs will deliver long lasting fresh breath for up to three hours, making a huge difference to Australians anxious about having bad breath on-the-go.”


The survey found 81 per cent of Australians are going out of their way to avoid being caught out and unprepared with bad smelling breath1. In fact, over half of them are changing their regular social behaviour and would go as far as cancelling a date, staying home, not eating or dodging a conversation1. Just 17 percent of Aussies are excusing themselves to brush their teeth, yet one in four will avoid eating certain foods they enjoy, saving the embarrassment and anxiety associated of bad breath1.


Dr Hills continued, “Interestingly, the research found only a small number of people are currently using mouthwash or other full mouth clean options to solve bad breath on-the-go, opting to avoid social situations or certain foods instead1. For our patients, we would always recommend bolstering their oral healthcare routine by using mouthwash, but it’s not always convenient to do so. This tells us there is a need for a quick and efficient option that will allow people to get on with their day, with fresh breath confidence to reduce their anxiety.”

LISTERINE® GO! TABS™ are scientifically proven to deliver fresh breath for three hours and should form an integral part of an overall oral healthcare routine daily. The innovative technology in the product eliminates those bad breath odours, providing long lasting fresh breath in an accessible format.

Findings from the national survey on bad breath anxiety include1:

  • 81% of us will go out of our way to avoid being caught out with bad breath. This increases to 92% for those aged between 25 – 34
  • Women are more likely to suffer bad breath anxiety, with 87% worrying to some degree compared to 72% of men
  • Queenslanders are the most likely to admit to having bad breath (74 per cent)
  • Aussie women are more likely to tolerate their dog’s bad breath, than their partner’s bad breath
  • 85% of us have fallen victim to someone’s bad breath in a social, professional or intimate setting
  • Aussies voted public speaking or being bitten by a spider less stressful than having bad breath.



Research Methodology:

The LISTERINE® GO! TABS™ Bad Breath Anxiety Report was commissioned by Johnson & Johnson Pacific and undertaken by Galaxy Research Group, a leading global market research and data company. The research was conducted on the YouGov Galaxy Omnibus between Thursday 21 March 2019 and Monday 25 March 2019, exploring insights from consumers to understand the state of bad breath and bad breath anxiety in Australia. Galaxy Research carried out a questionnaire survey to provide hard data and representative insights. The sample comprised of 1,056 Australians aged 18 + throughout Australia, and Insights were assessed via 10 interview questions.



LISTERINE® GO! TABS™ are convenient single-dose tablets that transform from a solid into a liquid—just chew, swish, and swallow. By combining odour neutralisation and the whole-mouth clean feeling of a rinse with the convenience of traditional breath fresheners, LISTERINE® GO! TABS™ offer consumers a revolutionary new option for oral care on the go. These solid fresh mint tablets don’t contain “mouthwash,” or liquid of any kind. The game-changing innovation lies in the fact that chewing LISTERINE® GO! TABS™ crushes them into particles that help form a liquid which can be easily swished around the entire mouth and then swallowed—all in less than a minute. For more information, please visit:


LISTERINE® has been defining oral care since 1914, with brand scientists driving foundational research on the many powerful benefits of mouthwash in fighting plaque, protecting gums, building strong teeth, and delivering long-lasting fresh breath. LISTERINE® Mouthwash has been used by more than one billion people in more than 85 countries and been awarded seals of acceptance by professional dental organisations around the globe. The LISTERINE® Brand is part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.


Media Contact

For more information or to organise an interview please contact:

Madeleine Hanley             

M: 0423 366 919


Alex Pugliese       

M: 0419 557 609



  1. The GO! TABS™ Bad Breath Anxiety Report, Galaxy Research Group 2019. Commissioned by Johnson & Johnson. March 2019.