Plain tobacco packs get go-ahead in UK

Britain will follow Australia's lead and introduce plain tobacco packaging from next year after new regulations were passed by the UK's upper house.

The British parliament's lower house last week passed the regulations mirroring Australia's world-leading legislation, which came into effect in late 2012, and on Monday the House of Lords followed suit. Peers agreed to the change without a vote after MPs overwhelmingly backed the move. Tory Lord Naseby led the fight against the plans in the Lords, but eventually withdrew his bid to block the regulations, admitting he knew he would lose a vote. Ireland earlier this month became the first country in Europe to ban brands and France is in the process of passing its own laws too.

Along with the UK, they'll introduce plain packaging from May 20 next year to coincide with the deadline for European Union member states to introduce large health warnings on all cigarette packs.

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