THE first cigarettes on sale in new, standardised packaging have been spotted in Devon.

New laws that came in to force across the UK in May gave manufacturers up to a year to switch to drab green packs, with bigger health warnings, designed to make smoking less appealing to children and young people.

But just six months later, the first packs are starting to be seen here in stores across Devon.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Improving Health and Wellbeing, said: “We welcome the introduction of plan packaging, and Devon is embracing these changes, with plain packets already in shops and supermarkets, and people tweeting their pictures of them.

“This change in the law removes the last place that tobacco manufacturers can advertise, and evidence shows that young people in particular are influenced by this kind of advertising.

"We hope this will lead to a reduction in the numbers of young people taking up smoking, thanks to the hard-hitting messages and unappealing new tobacco packaging."

Smoking levels among adults in Devon have fallen dramatically over the last few years from 17.4 per cent in 2012 to just 12.2 per cent now.

This is among the lowest in the South West region.

However 10 per cent of 15 year olds in Devon smoke which is significantly above the national average. 

Dr Virginia Pearson, Devon County Council’s Director of Public Health said: ‘‘There is very strong evidence from Australia that the introduction of plain packs has prevented a whole generation of young people from ever starting smoking.

"We really hope that this new legislation will have a similar effect here, and it’s great news that changes are already starting to take place on shelves across Devon.”

Social media is being used to report sightings of the new packaging and add to a ‘Track the Pack Map.’

Anyone spotting a pack can tweet an image and the location using the hashtag #trackthepack. To track the packs, visit or tweet to @breathe2025.

Anyone who wants more information or support to quit smoking can visit the Devon Smokefree website.