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Last Updated: Wednesday August 29 2007 09:56 GMT

Nasty images for cigarette packs

Proposed images for cigarette packages

Pictures of diseased lungs may be among those used on cigarette packets to try and persuade people to stop smoking.

The government thinks scary-looking images as well as the warnings already on packets will convince more people to stub out their habit.

Members of the public voted for the 14 images that will go on tobacco products, from a choice of 40 options.

Pictures are already used in some other countries, but the UK is the first country in Europe to do so.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: "Smoking is the single biggest cause of preventable illness and premature death. We do have an obligation to ensure that people are aware of the dangers of smoking."

The gory pictures will be printed on all tobacco products sold in the UK by the end of 2009.

In Singapore, when similar images were used, around a quarter of smokers decided to give up.

From October the age that people are allowed to buy tobacco in the UK will rise too, from 16 to 18 years old.

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