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Plain Packaging for Cigarettes in the UK, Ireland, and France

After a historic court ruling in the United Kingdom, cigarettes will now be sold in plain packaging, with prominent, graphic health warnings. Ireland and France have also passed legislation requiring plain packaging.

Australia introduced plain packaging in December 2012. Data from Australia suggest that plain packaging discourages people from smoking and makes smoking less appealing to young people.

The move has been welcomed by cancer charities, especially Cancer Research UK, which has long campaigned for plain packaging.

"Plain" packaging is bit of a misnomer ― the new packs feature large color photographs that take up more than 65% of the surface on the front and back of the pack. These pictures depict health damage caused by smoking. In addition, written health warnings appear on the top and the side of the pack. The rest of the pack is a dull olive color, without any company logos, branding, or promotional text.

Plain packaging is being considered by New Zealand, Norway, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Canada.