The Minister of State at the Department of Health has said plain cigarette packaging will come into effect from September 2018, meaning there will be no trademarks, logos or colour on packets.

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy said packaging is a key marketing tool and it is the only tool that tobacco companies have left.

She said we know most smokers start young and that this move will make cigarettes less attractive to young people.

The Irish Cancer Society has welcomed the announcement, saying it is "another significant milestone in working towards the target of a tobacco free Ireland by 2025".

"Research shows that plain packaging acts as a disincentive to young people to start smoking and reduces the attractiveness to them.

We need to continue to bring the rate of teenagers smoking down, educate them on the facts about smoking, and work towards our goal of making our young people Ireland's first smoke-free generation."