France, where a Gauloise once hung from the bottom lip of every actor or intellectual, plans to move to one of the toughest anti-tobacco regimes in the world.

Garish colours and brand names on cigarette packets will be replaced by health warnings in large type and by prominent photographs of the diseased organs of smokers. Car drivers and passengers will be banned from lighting up in the presence of children under 12.

Although these measures will not take effect until 2016, an uncompromising TV and radio campaign started today, warning that tobacco kills one in two smokers. There will also be a levy on tobacco companies to fund anti-smoking campaigns, and measures to expose the hidden lobbying of the tobacco industry.

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