JUNE 19, 2000
Big tobacco fights back
LAST week was a significant one in the fight over tobacco legislation in Europe.
But tobacco companies are aware that defeating the law in Europe could do more harm than good as individual countries would probably be able to get new legislation through quickly and so bring in a ban earlier than is planned in Europe. The British government has pledged to do just that but the action is currently blocked by the British courts pending the outcome of the case before the European Court.
Formula 1 is reducing its dependence on tobacco money because of the intensifying campaign to stop tobacco advertising. The World Health Organization recently launched a global campaign against the tobacco industry with the aim of creating a worldwide ban on tobacco advertising. In recent days Brazil has sent a bill to Congress proposing a ban on all tobacco advertising and sports sponsorship and the South African government is also making similar noises.
The European Parliament last week agreed to new regulations which will be introduced in January 2003 which will force tobacco firms to cover almost half of a packet of cigarettes with health warnings.