The first packs are already in circulation but retailers will be allowed to sell stock with the existing textual warnings on the back of the packs until the end of September 2009 in the case of cigarettes, and until the end of September 2010 in the case of other tobacco products such as hand-rolled tobacco.
Christopher Ogden, chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association, said: "We have seen numerous regulatory interventions take place over the last
15 months with the aim of reducing the prevalence of smoking.
"These include the public place smoking ban, the rise in minimum age from 16 to 18, legislation providing for sanctions against retailers who make under-age sales and now pictorial health warnings.
"We believe it is essential the
government ensures a proper assessment of all these policies takes place, supported by credible evidence, before embarking on any further initiatives, such as the ban on the display of tobacco products."
Tobacco feature - pages 39-44.