The government has been given the go-ahead to introduce plain tobacco packaging after a legal challenge by manufacturers against the measure was rejected.

JTI, Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris International and BAT had launched a case contesting the legality of introducing standardised packaging on their products in December.

However, the High Court has now ruled the regulations are lawful just a day before they are due to come into force.

JTI UK managing director Daniel Sciamma said the company would appeal the decision, adding: “We will continue to challenge the legality of plain packaging. The fact remains that our branding has been eradicated and we maintain that this is unlawful.”

More to follow.