Public Health Minister Jane Ellison has announced that MPs will vote on the issues before the General Election in May.
If passed, the plain packaging legislation could see England become just the second major country to ban branded cigarette packs – following Australia in 2012.
If the legislation is passed in England it is hoped that devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will follow suit.
The announcement was an unexpected one – although Ellison had said last year that she was “minded to proceed” with introducing regulations on plain packaging following the Chantler Review into the issue.
Government has been mulling the idea of plain packaging since 2010 and had looked set to call a vote on the issue in 2013, before the plan was pulled.
This new announcement comes after Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said last week that of successful at the next election, a future Labour Government would introduce plain cigarette packaging.
The Department for Health has already released images of what plain cigarette packaging might look like in the UK.
The designs use Helvetica and a “drab brown” colour palette, alongside graphic health warnings and space for the individual brand and variant names.
The are similar to the designs used in Australia, which also feature a drab colour palette and standardised fonts and type sizes.