Gruesome images showing the dangers of smoking will be printed on all tobacco products sold in the UK by the end of 2009 under new regulations announced by health secretary Alan Johnson last week.
Under the new rules, it is expected that cigarette packs with written warnings only will not be allowed on sale past September 30 next year. For other tobacco lines, the deadline will be September 30, 2009.
However, the Tobacco Manufacturers Association (TMA) warns that neither deadline will be achieved unless the government explains how the pictures should be displayed on other tobacco products such as cigars, whose packaging is more problematic to alter.
"Configuring the new warnings to the wide range of pack sizes and shapes for cigars, hand-rolling and pipe tobacco presents a challenge, as no formal EU guidance exists," said TMA director Chris Ogden.
"It is essential, therefore, that the government clarifies the use of picture warnings on these other products before production commences," he added.
Fifteen images including pictures of foetuses, throat cancers and clogged arteries have been chosen for display.