10-packs of cigarettes will be banned in the UK from the end of this week 5 years ago

10-packs of cigarettes will be banned in the UK from the end of this week

Is the government trying to save your life? Or make it harder?

Starting this Friday, all tobacco companies operating in the UK will have exactly one year to remove colourful packaging from their products, and to dispense of cheaper 10-packs from supermarket shelves.

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New designs will also feature plain, standardised packaging in a bid to make cigarettes less attractive to young people. They will all include the same dreary colour, opening mechanism and lifeless font too.

Meanwhile, roll your own (hand rolled) tobacco packs must weigh at least 30 grams. Health warnings, including general, information and picture warnings, will have to cover 65% of the front and back of cigarette and roll-your-own tobacco packages.

The punishment for violating the new directives could be a prison sentence of three months or a fine or both in a Magistrates Court, and if found guilty by a Crown Court, a person could face a prison sentence of up to two years, or a fine or both.

The rules come courtesy of the EU Tobacco Products Directive which saw MPs vote in favour of banning menthol and flavoured tobacco, starting from May 20. Admittedly, it's for our own good.

All companies affected have already been prevented from using words like ‘organic’, ‘natural’ or ‘lite’ to imply that smoking is, in any way, healthy.

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Some people say it's EU regulation gone mad, while others suggest it's a sensible option for smokers looking to cut back on self-destructive behaviour.

What do you think?