Cigarettes must be sold in standardised green packaging from this weekend

Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

From today, all tobacco products sold in Wales will come in plain packaging, as new laws controlling the look and size of packs are fully enforced.

In May 2016 it became law for all tobacco products to be sold in "standardised" brown packaging. Retailers were given a year to sell stock which didn’t comply with the new rules, but this time ended on 19th May 2017.

All packaging must now be in the "world’s ugliest colour", a muddy green, and 65% of every product must be covered in health warnings.

No branding is allowed other than the product name in a standardised font and no other trademarks, logos, colour schemes or graphics are permitted.

Alongside the changes in packaging, a series of new regulations and taxes also mean smokers will have to pay more for a pack of cigarettes - the cheapest pack will be £8.82.

ASH Wales say research from Australia, who brought in the same plain packaging in 2012, has shown that smokers now perceive their cigarettes to taste worse, be of lower quality and were more likely to ask for help to quit smoking altogether.

Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

According to Cancer Research UK, the average smoker in Great Britain will spend more than £2000 each year on tobacco products - enough to ‘fill a family’s food trolley for six months’.

The charity say smoking is still the largest preventable cause of death in the UK, and causes around 5,500 deaths in Wales every year.

In Wales, 18% of the adult population smokes cigarettes and, according to Cancer Research UK, an average of 136,500 children aged 11-15 started smoking between 2012 and 2014 in the UK.

The restrictions are designed to make cigarettes less attractive to the hundreds of children who start smoking everyday.

A minimum pack size of 20 cigarettes also comes into force, in addition to a ban on ‘misleading information’ such as ‘low tar’ or ‘organic’.

Flavoured cigarettes and rolling tobacco are also banned.

Smoking is a lethal addiction. It causes at least 14 types of cancer and so this measure, to remove the branding, colours and misleading descriptions from tobacco packs, is a momentous milestone in the battle for a tobacco free future.

Andy Glyde, Cancer Research UK Wales