Cigarette packaging through the ages

A Redford's packet from 1910, left, and a Players packet from the 1920s. Credit: ebay

Cigarette packets have been required to carry a Government warning since 1971, but now a complete ban on tobacco firm branding on cartons appears imminent.

In 1991 the British tobacco industry launched legal proceedings against the government in a bid to reduced the size of new health warnings on cigarette packs - and lost their case in the European Court in 1993.

The '60s brought brightly coloured cigarette packet-style chocolate and sweet packaging aimed at children Credit: ebay

In 1999 the European Commission adopted a new directive on tobacco regulation calling for the disclosure of all ingredients and additives and the prohibition of descriptors such as “mild” and “light”.

Leading cigarette brands of the '70s, 80s and 90s Credit: ebay

In 2004 the European Commission issued a range of hard hitting picture warnings for the backs of cigarette packs, designed for use in combination with health warnings such as "Smoking kills" that were introduced a year earlier.

Hard hitting picture warnings for cigarette packs introcuded in the UK in 2004. Credit: PA

This Sunday will mark a year since Australia introduced "plain" cigarette packaging. Rather than blank cartons, the packets are completely covered in graphic images depicting the harmful effects of smoking.

igarette packs with brands have been replaced with health warnings in Australia. Credit: Australian Government

Read: Cigarette packaging: A U-turn on a U-turn?