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OCTOBER 30, 2003

Germans sign anti-tobacco pact

It was done without fanfare but on October 24 Germany, one of the major opponents to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control formally signed the agreement, committing itself to the eventual banning of all tobacco advertising and sponsorship. This was a major blow for the anti-tobacco lobby as Germany has long been one of the opponents of international legislation. The number of countries to have signed the Convention is now 76. The treaty will come into force as soon as 40 of the 192 signatories have ratify the deal but that is expected to take at least two or three years.