TOBACCO firms are evading tough new laws designed to highlight the dangers of cigarette smoking it is claimed.
Health warnings have to cover one third of the packet according to new EU rules introduced last week.
They can no longer use words such as low tar and mild and, from the end of next year, manufacturers will have to portray "horror pictures" on packaging, such as photographs of lungs damaged by cigarettes.
But David Bowe, Yorkshire and Humber MEP, says tobacco manufacturers will continue to use every trick in the book to persuade people that there's really nothing to worry about.
Referring to the launch of the EU rules governing cigarette packaging, he said: "This marks a major step forward in tackling what is one of the biggest health challenges facing the whole of Europe.
"Smoking-related diseases kill over a million EU citizens every year and half of all long-term smokers will eventually be killed by tobacco.
"Yet already we are seeing attempts to undermine the impact of the new warnings.
"In France, a firm is apparently producing replacement cardboard cigarette cases decorated with flower patterns or even a portrait of Che Guevara."
Mr Bowe said this demonstrated the tricks which the industry and pro-smoking lobby would go to.