EU pushes ahead with anti-tobacco legislation

The European Parliament has voted through a proposal to outlaw cigarette advertising at international sporting events throughout the EU. The Parliament in Strasbourg voted 311 to 202 with 39 abstentions to accept the tough new restrictions on tobacco advertising, which replaces an earlier EU ban which was thrown out by the European Court of Justice.

EU Health and Consumer Affairs Commissioner David Byrne says that he expects governments to ratify the ban so that it can come into effect in July 2005. There is still likely to be opposition to the bill from the German government which is against such a ban. Byrne says that he is confident that the new law will not be rejected by the European Court of Justice but there are likely to be more delays as the law is being pushed through as an internal trade issue, which does not require unanimity. Those opposed to the bill say that it is a public health law.

The FIA is backing a separate policy which will introduce a global ban on tobacco in motorsport from the middle of 2006.

The battle goes on.

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