Plain cigarette packaging implemented in UK

As of last weekend all smokers in the UK will now be carrying a very different pack of cigarettes, no matter what brand they choose.

All packs sold in the UK now have to have the same colour and font type.

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Instead of company logos, packs will showcase graphic images of smoking's potential side effects.

It's the result of a new law that went into effect last year, but companies had until May 21, 2017, to sell their old stock.

A recent study predicted the change in packaging will lead to 300,000 fewer smokers within a year of implementation.

But how much of an effect that really amounts to is up for debate.

The study highlighted Australia, which imposed similar packaging restrictions years before the U.K.

But three years after its law went into effect, smoking's prevalence in Australia hadn't even dropped one percentage point.

And in the U.K.'s case, even if 300,000 people stopped smoking due to the packaging, there'd still be millions of people continuing the habit in spite of it.

Still, one argument from advocates is that these laws were made with younger people in mind.

The idea is to convince them not to take up smoking in the first place.

An estimated two-thirds of British smokers start before they're 18 years old.

Top advertising icons that are no more
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Top advertising icons that are no more

The lone cowboy quadrupled sales of Philip Morris' Marlboro cigarettes when he first appeared in the 1950s. Despite increasing evidence from mid-century scientists of health risks associated with smoking, Marlboro Man was influential in persuading the public to continue to light up.

Remember the little mascots for Robertson's jam? People sent away in their millions to the jam makers for golly brooches and other golly-related memorabilia. When Golly retired in 2002, the official reason was that children had lost interest in him. But many suspected the forces of political correctness were at play. Over 20m gollies were sent out by Robertson's in their heyday. Many have become valued collectors' items.

A boy and girl in ragged clothes catch the smell of Bisto gravy on the breeze and sigh longingly "Ahhh... Bisto." The advert, drawn by cartoonist Wilf Owen, first appeared in 1919. The gambit aimed to capture an 'Oliver Twist' quality, appealing to the 'urchin' segment of the working class market.

The yellow talking cartoon bird made his calls to advertise Post Office Telecommunications (now BT) perched on telephone wires. His catchphrase was "Make someone happy with a phone call". Bernard Cribbens provided the voice.

Beatrice Bellman was a popular character from a series of TV adverts by British Telecom, famously played by Maureen Lipman. She was a stereotypical Jewish mother and grandmother, with a heart of gold. Her adventures mostly involved nagging her long-suffering family over the phone. The name Beattie was a play on 'BT', as British Telecom later became known.

Any BP ad showing green fields and clean seas. Nowadays inappropriate for reasons too obvious to outline here.

Toilet paper makers Andrex have chosen to digitise their iconic puppy for the first time since the dog hit our screens in 1972. The series of more than 120 adverts featuring a live puppy made even something as utilitarian as toilet paper appear cute - no mean feat.

A blue floating shost-like creature with a long pointed nose, he featured in an educational animation programme created by Nick Spargo for British Gas in 1975. Willo's job was to extol the virtues of gas. Actor Kenneth Williams provided the voice. Willo later went on to great success in his own TV series, before retiring into obscurity.


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