Swiss join anti-tobacco forces

Tomorrow is the final day for countries to sign up to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the number of governments involved is jumping up each day, with five new signatories in the last couple of days, including Switzerland, the Ukraine, Romania, Kenya and Liberia. These are not hugely significant except that Switzerland had been seen as a possible haven for a tobacco-sponsored race in Europe because it is not a member of the European Union. This means that international efforts to support a possible Swiss Grand Prix will be greatly reduced.

The five new sigatures mean that 148 of the world's 200-odd countries have now committed themselves to ratifying the treaty. At the moment only 22 have actually ratified the treaty (including Kenya) but only 18 more are needed before the treaty becomes international law. After that countries will ratify one by one, gradually closing down the possibility of tobacco sponsorship around the world.

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