The tobacco net tightens still further

Although there has been little happening in racing circles during the Christmas holidays, the anti-tobacco forces continue to tighten the net on tobacco advertising, with three more countries committing themselves to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Admittedly, the signatures of Slovakia, Bulgaria and Burkina Faso may not be of any particular importance but they bring to 83 the number of countries now committed to the treaty. They are also adding to the pressure which exists for the United States of America to become a signatory to the agreement.

At the moment the treaty is being reviewed by various US agencies and after that is completed President George W. Bush will have to decide whether to sign it and send it on to the Senate for ratification. There is much argument as to whether or not the treaty would conflict with the US Bill of Rights, the first amendment of which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances".

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