Northern Ireland has confirmed that it will implement the UK Government’s proposed regulation for standardised packaging of all cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco products.
According to the government, around 50% of all smokers across Northern Ireland are at death risk due to consumption of tobacco products.
Northern Ireland Health Minister Jim Wells said: "Branding on cigarette packets provides one of the last opportunities for tobacco companies to promote their products. Evidence shows that young people are more receptive to this type of advertising than adults.
"I believe that standardised packaging has the potential to contribute to a further reduction in child and adult smoking prevalence and look forward to this measure being introduced in Northern Ireland."
Last month, the UK Government confirmed its plans to introduce legislation for plain packaging for tobacco products. The regulation is likely to take effect in May 2016 along with the European Tobacco Products Directive’s tobacco control measures.
Tobacco firms will be required to ban cigarette branding and implement cigarette packaging with certain mandatory colours and text and required markings such as health warnings.
The Welsh Government has also recently given its consent for the implementation of a new regulation for standardised packaging of all cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco products.
New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland governments are also considering the introduction of standardised packaging.