Nicotine addicts will get the picture

07 September, 2007

Graphic images showing the harmful effects of smoking will be printed on all cigarette packets sold in the UK from next year.

A series of 15 images has been chosen to accompany text warnings about smoking related diseases following a consultation in 2006, market research and a public vote.

Under the new regulations, cigarette packs that feature only written warnings will not be allowed on sale after Sept 30 next year. For other tobacco packs, the deadline is Sept 30, 2009.

The UK is the first EU country to publish the pictures on all tobacco products. Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: "Picture warnings are the next vital step in reducing the number of people who smoke."

He added: "This announcement, together with the introduction of the smokefree law in July and our plans to raise the legal age of sale for tobacco products will potentially save thousands of lives and others will be spared the misery of watching family and friends die prematurely from smoke-related illnesses."

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