Now Canadians go on the attack...

In the last few days The Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada organisation has launched an international letter campaign trying to convince governments which have Grands Prix to "stand up to global blackmail from Formula One and the tobacco industry". Letters are being sent to HRH Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain, noting that Bahrain adopted Anti-Smoking Law Number 10 in 1994 which prohibited tobacco sports sponsorship and urging the Bahrain government to ensure that race cars advertising tobacco products will not be permitted to compete in Bahrain in April next year.

A similar letter has been sent to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, noting that country's 1996 Law on the Prevention of Harm Induced by Tobacco Products which bans tobacco advertising and sponsorship. A third letter has gone to Madam Wu Yi, China's minister of public health citing China's 1994 Advertising Law of the People's Republic of China which stated that "the use of radio, movies, television, newspaper and magazines to disseminate tobacco advertisements is banned. The setting up of tobacco advertisements in public places, including all kinds of waiting rooms, cinemas and theatres, meeting rooms and halls, sports stadia, etc, is banned."

A fourth and final letter is being sent to Jean Chretien, the Prime Minister of Canada, congratulating him on putting an end to tobacco advertising at the Canadian GP and urging him to write to all the governments in countries where F1 takes place asking them to stop tobacco advertising.

The last few days have also witnessed an important new signatory for the World Health Organisation's global anti-tobacco treaty with the signature of India, which boasts a population of one billion people, around one sixth's of the world's population. In recent days Ireland, the Seychelles and Vietnam have also signed the treaty.

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