NI 'needs urgent tobacco law'
It would require the removal of the attractive promotional aspects of containers and order that all packs carry strong health messages.
Gerry McElwee, head of cancer prevention for the Cancer Focus Northern Ireland charity, said: "The campaign for standardised packaging has gained massive public support because it will protect future generations from being seduced by tobacco industry marketing and will encourage smoking cessation in adults. It would be a catastrophe if it fell at this late stage.
"It is vitally important that Northern Ireland is not left behind the rest of the UK on this crucial piece of legislation."
A piece of Assembly business known as a legislative consent motion is needed to include Northern Ireland in a Bill being considered in the House of Lords allowing Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to introduce standardised packaging regulations.