China to ratify anti-smoking stance in March 2004?

The Shanghai Daily newspaper is reporting that the Chinese look set to ratify its signature of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control at the National Peoples' Congress when it meets in March next year. But the country's huge tobacco industry says that banning all cigarette advertising will be a disaster.

"It will deal a heavy blow to China's tobacco business," said Zheng Fugang, the secretary-general of the China Tobacco Society.

The Chinese government supports the move but other agencies, notably the city of Shanghai, which wants to have tobacco sponsorship allowed for the inaugural Chinese

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