New Tobacco Packaging Rules Come Into Force

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Cigarettes in the UK are being sold in standardized green packaging with explicit images from today, under new rules designed to cut the number of smokers.It becomes the first country in the Europe to require cigarettes to be sold in plain standardized packaging.

Under the directive, pictures showing the harmful effects of smoking must cover 65% of the front and back of every packet of cigarettes, with extra warnings on the top of the pack.Packs containing 10 cigarettes will be prohibited under the ruling because the boxes are viewed too small to contain suitable health warnings.Packaging of hand-rolled tobacco must also be in the same green color and contain a minimum of 30g of tobacco.

Companies have a year to sell old stock and fully implement the changes under the directive.An estimated 700,000 premature deaths are caused each year and it is hoped the new rules will reduce the number of smokers across the EU by 2.4 million.

“Everyone knows the health risks of smoking and no one starts because of the packaging,” he said.”Plain packaging is a declaration of war on consumers because the aim is to de-normalise not just the product but also the millions of adults who enjoy smoking and don’t want to quit.”

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