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DECEMBER 2, 2004

WHO anti-tobacco treaty to become law on February 28

The World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has received its 40th signature and will become international law in 90 days from now.

"The momentum growing around the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control seems unstoppable," said Lee Jong-wook, the director-general of the WHO. "It demonstrates the importance placed by the international community on saving many of the millions of lives now lost to tobacco. I look forward to more countries joining the 40 states that are making it possible for this treaty to become law."

The recent days have seen signatures from Armenia, Canada, Ghana and Peru.

The treaty limits tobacco sponsorship and commits the signatories to encourage other countries to ensure that the signatories do not bend the rules. The treaty will become law on February 28, a few days before the new F1 seasons kicks off in Australia. Of the countries that have ratified the treaty the important ones in F1 terms are Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, San Marino.

A total 128 other countries have signed the treaty but have not yet ratified it.