Any move to force the trade to sell cigarettes in plain white packs would do nothing but inflame the illegal trade, the tobacco industry has warned.
The Department of Health is investigating the proposal as part of its three-month consultation into tobacco control.
Except for the brand name, which would be required to be written in a standard typeface, colour and size, all other trademarks, logos and graphics would be prohibited. Only content information and relevant health warnings would be allowed.
The Tobacco Manufacturers Association has condemned the plan. Director Chris Ogden said: "There is real concern that some of the proposed regulations could have serious unintended consequences, such as increasing an already large illicit market in tobacco."