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Britain says ready to ban all branding on cigarette packs

Published on Apr 4, 2014 2:23 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain plans to force tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packets without branding to improve public health and cut the number of child smokers, a government minister said on Thursday, dismaying the industry and delighting anti-smoking campaigners.

The government said it wanted to leave space on cigarette packaging only for graphic health warnings, after holding a short final consultation on the issue, and said the rule could become law within a year.

The move would make Britain the second country in the world and the first in Europe to introduce mandatory plain cigarette packets, which could prompt others to follow suit.

In 2012, Australia enacted a groundbreaking law forcing cigarettes to be sold in plain olive green packaging with images showing damaging effects of smoking such as lung and mouth cancer.

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