Colourful cigarette packs may soon be a thing of the past

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London, May 31 : A red packet of Marlboro or a gold Benson and Hedges wrapping could soon become a thing of the past - with British Government's plan to replace distinctive packaging for cigarettes by plain black and white lettering.

The move came into being after a research showed that because of the colourful labels children easily identify brands and link smoking to being "cool".

Abolishing packs of 10, to cut the number of young people taking up the habit, and restricting youngsters' access to cigarette vending machines are also being considered.

The new consultation, launched to mark World Tobacco Day, also includes banning the advertising of cigarette papers and other smoking "paraphernalia".

About a quarter of the adult population smokes and rates are dropping very slowly.

Smoking increases the risk of cancers, heart disease, stroke, emphysema, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

"Protecting children from smoking is a government priority and taking away temptation is one way to do this," the Telegraph quoted Dawn Primarolo, the public health minister, as saying.

"If banning brightly coloured packets, removing cigarettes from display, and removing the cheap option of a pack of 10 helps save lives, then that is what we should do," Primarolo added.

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