01/22/2015 11:30 EST | Updated 03/24/2015 05:59 EDT

Slick cigarette packaging going up in smoke? UK to vote on law requiring plain packaging

LONDON - Cigarettes in Britain will likely be required to be sold in plain packaging after the government announced plans to ask politicians to vote on the proposal before the country's general election in May.

With widespread support from all political parties, the proposal is expected to pass and will specify requirements including mandatory colours for packaging and large picture health warnings.

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said in a statement Wednesday that introducing plain packaging would bring "the prospect of our first smoke-free generation one step closer."

Australia is the only other country in the world that requires cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging.

If Britain's proposal passes, cigarettes and hand-rolled tobacco will have to be sold in standardized packs from next May.