Stringent new rules mean smokers need to get in the know before their beloved cigarettes go up in a puff of smoke.

Many changes are coming into effect in May, but the biggest will be the new standardised packaging - which sees all packets printed in the same dull green.

That makes it extra confusing when asking for a packet of Silver Benson, Red Marlboro or Blue Lucky Strike, as all the packets will look the same.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Also, the government rules have banned the 10-deck, and menthol cigarettes will soon go too.

The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 are part of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (or TPD for short).

Smoking health campaigners reckon the standardised, plain green packets will stop youngsters from ever starting, because they believe that brightly coloured packs are a major reason why people start.

All of the fonts will now be standardised too, as will the colour, size, case and alignment of any text, meaning it can be quite confusing for elderly people who have smoked the same cigarettes for decades.

They will also have much larger health warnings which, with a graphic picture and text, will take up 65 per cent of the front and the back of the boxes.

MORE: Cigarette packets standardised with explicit warnings of smoking dangers

The ban on menthol cigarettes will come into force in May 2020, but menthol filters for those who smoke rolling tobacco will not be axed.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), said: "There is evidence to show that menthol in cigarettes makes it easier for children to try smoking and to become addicted regular smokers.

"That’s why Ash supports the ban on menthol cigarettes."

It’s hoped that by getting rid of the small, cheap packets, fewer people will be tempted to take up smoking, so 10 and 14-packs are also being axed, and should not be on sale for much longer.

Tobacco companies were last May given a year to sell old stock and fully implement the changes imposed by the new rules.