CITY of York Council has welcomed the approval by The European Parliament to revise rules over the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco in a bid to deter young people from smoking.

This legislation, already informally agreed with EU health ministers, would require all tobacco packs to carry picture health warnings covering 65 per cent of their surface.

A spokeswoman said: “The new measures are a big step forward for tobacco control, and will help to prevent the next generation of smokers from being recruited. We know that it is children – not adults – who start to smoke. The overwhelming majority of smokers start before their 18th birthday.”

In addition, the approval would ban flavourings in cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco that would be considered to make the product more attractive by giving it a “characterising flavour”. Menthol would be banned from 2020.

The new measures are to be approved by the Council of Ministers on March 14.