A raft of new rules concerning the sale of cigarettes and tobacco have come into force, banning the sale of 10-cigarette packs and stipulating that all tobacco must be sold in plain green packets.
All packs must contain a minimum of 20 cigarettes to make sure the packs are big enough for health warnings to cover 65% of the front and back, with the brand name restricted to a standard size, font and colour.
According to the European Union - which the United Kingdom is obviously now planning to exit - the new rules are in place to try and reduce the number of smokers across the EU by 2.4m.
The new rules mean all wording on the packs must be of a uniform size and can not contain any "misleading information" such as describing cigarettes as "low tar" or "organic".
Standardized packaging is a positive step.
The restrictions include the banning of flavored cigarettes that mask the smell and taste of tobacco, and the addition of larger warnings and graphic photos of some of the health risks.
The introduction of plain packaging and the ban on small tobacco packs is already driving people to buy cheap, black market tobacco, according to a new survey by the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (TMA). Retailers were given a year to sell stock which didn't comply with the new rules, but this time ended on 19th May 2017.
Since the order is not a total ban, it also enumerated the requirements needed for designated smoking areas for smokers as well as those that can not be used as such which specifies among others that other standards and specification to better ensure a smoke-free environment as may be prescribed by the Inter-Agency Committee-Tobacco under Republic Act 9211 provided that such standards and specifications are consistent with the order and that persons-in-charge are given 60 days to comply.
Islamabad-The Ministry of National Health Services and Regulations (NHS), before the start of upcoming fiscal year, has recommended the finance ministry to increase Federal Excise Duty (FED) on lower slab cigarette brands, an official said on Wednesday.
"Politicians and tobacco control campaigners are grasping at straws if they think people will give up something they enjoy just because the packaging has changed".
"So removing the branding features, making the health warnings bigger and more prominent, is meant to protect young people from taking up smoking in the future", she said.
The group's director Simon Clark said: "The new regulations treat adults like naughty children".
An estimated 700,000 premature deaths are caused each year, and cancer charities are backing the measures. What is needed is not the perpetuation of European Union regulations which cause real harm to people who are trying to replace smoking with a safer alternative, but simple consumer product standards regulation and common sense rules on responsible marketing.
"There's no evidence they will have the slightest impact on public health".