European Health Ministers vote anti-tobacco legislation

The European Health Ministers have voted 13 to two to approve new anti-smoking legislation which will ban all tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines and all sporting sponsorships. If the law goes ahead as planned the ban ccould come into effect at the end of July 2005, a year ahead of the FIA's planned global ban on tobacco sponsorship. The two countries voting against the law were Germany and Britain, the former because it wants no interference in the tobacco industry and the latter because it wants an even stronger ban. The new laws still has to face potential legal challenges but the promoters of the legislation say that this is not a problem.

Contrary to some stories circulating there has not been an amendment to delay the tobacco sponsorship deadline until 2006 as Formula 1 would like to see happen.

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