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JUNE 20, 2001

Tobacco not an issue to new British government

THERE is a certain amount of confusion in Britain today following the Queen's Speech, opening the new parliament. This is traditionally a statement by the government of what it plans to do and the new Labour cabinet has not bothered to include any bills banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship. This means that nothing will happen until the end of 2002 at the earliest.

Labour promised to push ahead with a tobacco ban in its election manifesto but the government says that the tobacco ban has not been forgotten but simply put on the back burner.

There is already a voluntary agreement in place in Britain and it may be that the government has concluded that it is a pointless exercise trying to pass legislation until after the European Union votes through its new EU-wide tobacco advertising ban.

Whatever the case, it is good news for the tobacco companies involved in F1.