CIGARETTES in brightly coloured packs are considered to be less harmful than others, a poll suggests, prompting health campaigners to renew their calls for plain packaging.
Nine in 10 youngsters see cigarettes in standardised packs as "harmful", according to the poll conducted on behalf of Cancer Research UK.
But cigarettes from colourful Pall Mall and Mayfair packs are only viewed as potentially unsafe by six in 10 children, the charity said.
The survey of 554 British children aged eight to 15 also found that products in bright, colourful and interesting packaging are more enticing than those which have been endorsed by celebrities.
Some 40pc of youngsters said that packaging influenced shopping choices, while only one in five (20pc) said celebrity backing would sway their shopping decisions.
Alison Cox, the charity's head of tobacco policy, said: "This survey is a timely reminder of the huge marketing power of packaging on young people.
"Attractive packaging is a key reason that young people are tempted into a lifetime of nicotine addiction, an addiction that ends in death for half of all long-term smokers.
"These findings add to a weight of existing evidence proving that clever design gimmicks distract from health warnings and portray smoking as something glamorous and harmless.
The British government has tasked Sir Cyril Chantler with reviewing public health evidence for standardised tobacco packaging. His findings are expected this month.