MPs will today vote on whether to implement plain packaging on tobacco products, with a big majority expected in favour.

If approved, it is expected the new legislation would come into effect on May 20 2016, the same date that many of the new EU Tobacco Products Directive will be implemented.

The EU regulations will ban the production of packs of fewer than 20 cigarettes and of roll your own tobacco in weights of less than 30g from that date, but it is expected retailers will be given a further 12 months to sell old stock.

The plain packaging regulations will require packs to be dull brown on the outside, with only the brand and variant, number of cigarettes, weight, a barcode and manufacturer’s contacts details to be printed on them in a prescribed size and type face.