Global campaigners against tobacco have won a crucial battle, with the European Union passing tough new laws that will see cigarette packs covered with large health warnings, within two years.

News.com.au reports, the Australian-style legislation also bans menthol cigarettes, which lawmakers say disguises the reality of what smokers are inhaling.

EU member countries are expected to pass enabling legislation before the end of the month.

Health groups are applauding the development, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which has warned against tobacco, since its beginnings more than 150 years ago.

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