Tobacco giants British American Tobacco and Imperial lost the final round of a 15-month legal battle which would have saved descriptors such as "mild" and "light" on tobacco packaging.
The European Court of Justice upheld the EU directive on the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products, its proposed compulsory health warnings on tobacco, and ban on terms which suggest one tobacco product is safer than another.
The directive also sets limits on levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes sold in Europe.
The directive, requiring that health warnings cover 30% of the front of cigarette packets and 40% of the back, comes into force in October 2003.

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