Australia about to sign the global tobacco treaty

Quit Victoria, the Australian anti-smoking organization, says that the Australian federal government will soon sign the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Quit Victoria spokesman Todd Harper says that "the fact that the federal government has announced its intention to sign the treaty, really puts in place an opportunity to comprehensively address the leading cause of preventable death in Australia."

Countries which sign the agreement will be legally bound to clamp down on smoking, tobacco sponsorship and the tobacco industry.

It remains to be seen when the signature will happen but it will come as another blow to the Formula 1 world. Of this year's races Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Hungary, Italy (the Italian GP and the San Marino GP), Malaysia, Spain and the UK have all signed the treaty, which means that tobacco advertising will eventually be banned in all 10 events. However next year Austria and Canada will be dropped because of the tobacco issue.

Other big countries to have signed the treaty are Argentina, India, Mexico, South Africa and the Philippines.

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