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JUNE 25, 2004

Arab world joins anti-tobacco movement

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the latest governments to sign up for the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This week the total of countries signed up to the treaty, which seeks to ban all tobacco advertising in the world, rose to 143 of the around 200 countries. Although Saudi Arabia has little motorsport, the UAE has big ambitions with an F1-specification racing circuit in Dubai, a smaller facility in Sharjah, which was opened in 2000 and plans often discussed for other events in both Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

The only major countries in the world not to have signed the treaty so far are Indonesia (population 196m), Russia (146m), Nigeria (115m), Ukraine (51m) and South Africa (42m).