Lansley may face court action over plain cigarette packets

Designs on packets such as these could become extinct in UK shops if new laws are passed
Designs on packets such as these could become extinct in UK shops if new laws are passed Credit: Reuters

Last year, Australia approved similar laws to those proposed by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, introducing plain packaging to reduce the attractions of smoking. Three global tobacco giants launched lawsuits saying the rules infringed trademark rights.

Three of the world's four largest tobacco groups, Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco are challenging the new law in the High Court.

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Move to ban cigarette branding

The Government will pave the way for cigarette packets to be stripped of all branding, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said.