CIGARETTE packets in Spain may soon all be one colour, with no brand name, just a disturbing picture and health warning.
The European Commission is considering making it the law for all packets to be uniform white, without any company logos, and with the name of the brand written in small letters on the bottom.
They claim this is to take away the ‘glamour element’ associated with certain brands of cigarettes in order to discourage people from smoking.
The same law was approved in Australia in November – where smoking laws are much stricter and even some beaches and outside restaurant terraces are out of bounds to people lighting up – with the only exception that the packets will be dark olive green.
This will come into effect next December in Australia.
Tobacco companies are already launching complaints, but say they have not yet calculated whether they will suffer any financial loss as a result.
Already, cigarette packets bear mandatory photographs of diseased lungs and massive tumours to put people off.
Over a million people in Spain have given up since the law passed in January banned lighting up in public places without exception, forcing bars and restaurants to become non-smoking whether they wished to or not.
In real terms, and combined with those who now smoke less because of rising prices and restrictions on where they can light up, tobacco sales have fallen by 17 per cent in the last year.
The average Spaniard smokes 17 cigarettes a day, research shows.