Cigarettes must be sold in standardised green packaging from this weekend

"On banning small packs, which are particularly popular in the United Kingdom, independent research confirmed that such a move will cost the Treasury £2.1 billion in the first year, costing 11,190 jobs whilst even those in public health agree that it will lead to people smoking more, not less, tobacco".

Under the new tobacco laws, all cigarettes will be sold in standardised green packaging - previously described as "the ugliest colour in the world" by researchers - specifically created to discourage people from smoking.

The greenish-brown colour for packaging has been described by some experts as "the ugliest colour in the world".

There are also new rules regulating the amount of nicotine that e-cigarettes may contain, something the directive says was previously unregulated.

Among public health officials, e-cigarettes are particularly concerning because the flavorings could appeal to children or teens and as youth smoking rates have declined the number of young people vaping nicotine has increased.

Flavoured cigarettes and rolling tobacco are also banned.

The new mandatory green packaging are standard, and must now carry larger health warnings on the two-thirds of the front and back of any pack, along with a graphic photo.

The measures were brought in a year ago, but retailers have been given time to get rid of old stock.

The measures were brought in a year ago but retailers were given time to get rid of old stock before the green packaged cigarettes came into force.

She added: "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".

"We are seeing people not quitting or giving up smoking but buying cheap tobacco from the black market", said Giles Roca from the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association.

The standardised packaging roll-out was introduced in Australia in 2012, and surveys showed that the prevalence of smoking among adults fell by 15 per cent in the second half of 2013.

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".

  • Joanne Flowers