Smokers in Nottinghamshire will be greeted with large health warnings on drab green-brown packaging when they buy tobacco products from now on.
The move to standardise packaging has been made to encourage more people to stub out.
The packs will no longer be brightly coloured or feature well-known logos – the only branding on the packs will be the product name, which will be printed in a standard font and size.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers will continue to investigate the sale and distribution of illicit tobacco and will also be checking that businesses comply with the new packaging requirements.
Failure to comply with the new legislation is an offence and can include imprisonment of up to two years if heard a crown court or a fine.
The council set up a task force in May 2014 to combat illicit tobacco and so far has seized over £800,000 of illicit cigarettes and has led on 70 prosecutions, amounting to prison sentences totalling 11 years, 2,170 hours in unpaid work and £7,620 in fines.
Claudine White, Trading Standards manager, said: “The new plain packaging changes aim to make smoking less enticing by removing the stylish branding and attractive colours to encourage people to give up.
“We are working with Public Health colleagues at the council to support local smokers to kick the habit and combating the problem of counterfeit tobacco is a key part of this.”
For free support to quit smoking contact a stop smoking advisor on 0800 2465343 or text QUIT to 66777.