Deborah Arnott, chief executive of campaigning charity Action on Smoking and Health, said: "The consultation is just the first step, putting us in pole position to be the first European nation to put tobacco in plain, standardised packs.
"Now that cigarette advertising, promotion and sponsorship and tobacco displays have all been banned this is the obvious next step if the Government truly wants to make smoking history."
More top news
Travel industry chiefs have called for universal safety standards to be introduced across Europe, to help prevent future tragedies.
The tragic deaths of two children on a Thomas Cook Corfu holiday in 2006 could lead to a crisis of confidence for the travel industry.
Sunny spells for tomorrow, although the further we go into the weekend then we will see outbreaks of rain moving south eastwards