The pictures, which show cancerous lungs and throats as well as rotting teeth, replace written warnings such as "smokers die younger" which currently greet smokers as they light up.
The picture warnings will start appearing on cigarette packs from October 1 and will be compulsory from October next year. They will begin to be shown on all tobacco products from October 2010.
Around 10 million Britons smoke out of a total population of more than 60 million. A number of measures in recent years have aimed to cut the number of smokers.
Written warnings on packs were adopted in 2003, while the minimum age for buying tobacco rose from 16 to 18 last year. Smoking in enclosed public places is banned across the country.
"These new stark picture warnings emphasise the harsh health realities of continuing to smoke," Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said.
"I hope they will make many more (people) think hard about giving up and get the help they need to stop smoking for good."