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Ireland's plain packaging tobacco law forbids branding, including logos and colours on tobacco products.Reuters

Ireland became the first European Union member state to pass a law mandating plain packaging for tobacco products on Thursday (26 February).

Under the new law, branding of all forms is forbidden on the packaging, including logos and colours.

Tobacco products will have a uniform packaging containing graphic health warnings.

The minister for children, James Reilly, told the parliament on Thursday (26 February) before the bill was passed: "We are creating legislation which will be historic and will be of real importance to the area of public health.

"We are on the verge of being the first country in the EU to pass a law on plain packaging. We are on the verge of the being only the second country in the world to pass a plain packaging law."

Ireland follows Australia's plain packaging law that was introduced in 2012.

Several tobacco companies have threatened to take legal action against Dublin following the legislation.

"We in this house will not be intimidated by such action. We will pass such laws as we believe to be correct. Remember if a bully tries to intimidate you with actions you should stand firm and be true to what you believe to be right," said Reilly.

Earlier in February, owner of the Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut brands, JTI Ireland, said they would consider taking legal action if the legislation is enacted, reported France24 News.

Following Thursday's vote, a spokesperson for JTI Ireland said: "We have made our views known to the government many times so they should come as no surprise. If this proceeds we will go to court to protect our rights."

The plain packaging legislation will be sent to the president to pass into law following a technical vote next week and the law will not be fully implemented until May 2017.