A man in France was shocked to see a picture of his amputated leg had allegedly been used on cigarette packages without his permission.

The Albanian man who lives in the northeast French town of Metz lost his leg as the result of a 1997 shooting in Albania, and the operation had no link to smoking, the Daily Mail reports.

Despite this, he claims his picture was displayed on cigarette packets across France to act as a deterrence to smoking, with the warning "smoking clogs your arteries".

The man, who remains anonymous, claims the photo was taken when he visited a hospital to find out if he might be equipped with a walking aid, according to French media.

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He discovered the picture when his son bought a packet of tobacco last year in Luxembourg.

"He [my brother] was coming back from Luxembourg. Without saying a word, he put a big box of rolling tobacco on the table," the buyer's sister told newspaper Le Republicain Lorrain.

"We were stunned. We did not believe it."

But the family identified give-away scars and grew certain the picture was of the 60-year-old.

His lawyer Antoine Fittante remains adamant it is his client's leg and is contacting the European Commission to find out what happened.

He said: "Each scar is specific, unique. This man also has burn marks on the other leg, it's very clear. An expert will have no trouble identifying the image.

"It's rather incredible that a person finds themselves without their agreement on cigarette packets throughout the European Union."

Fittante added that his client feels betrayed and his dignity is wounded.

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The pictures on the packet of EU cigarette packets are usually distributed by the European Commission and are taken from an approved database, where people featuring in the images have given their consent.