New cigarette laws come into force this month: Here's what smokers need to know
Smokers across the North West are being warned about new rules on cigarettes and tobacco that will come into force this month.
By the end of May, cigarettes and tobacco will no longer be sold in bright, glitzy packs, but in drab green packages.
The packages will have large graphic images, warning people about the health effects of smoking, on the front and back of them.
Health warnings will also be appear at the top of all packs.
The new laws came into effect in May last year but shops were given a one-year transitional period for the sell-through of all old stock.
The law changes are part of the EU Tobacco Products Directive which was brought into force on May 20 last year.
The legislation will fully come into force on May 21 – almost a decade after the original smoking ban.
Under the new laws, ten-packs of cigarettes which are "particularly appealing to young age groups with limited spending power" will be banned.
Hand rolling tobacco will also only be sold in a minimum of 30 gram packets and, by May 21, the cheapest packet of cigarettes will cost £8.82.
The new laws will also require combined picture and text health warning to cover 65 per cent of the front and back of cigarette packs as well as roll-your own tobacco packages.
Promotional or misleading descriptions on packaging, including "light" "natural" and "organic" will also be banned.
Menthol cigarettes are also set to be phased out with it being completely prohibited from May 20, 2020.
Some flavoured cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, with appealing flavours, including fruit and chocolate will also be banned.
However, the new law does not ban e-cigarettes but, for the first time, certain safety and quality requirements have been introduced for e-cigarettes containing nicotine.