WHO seeks full ban on tobacco ads in sport
LONDON - The World Health Organisation, along with the governing bodies of motor racing, football and the Olympics, is launching a major campaign to end tobacco advertising at all major sporting events.
The news follows yesterday's announcement by the FIA, the world governing body of motorsports, to ban tobacco advertising and sponsorship worldwide in all motorsport competitions from 2006.
WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative was launched as delegates from 191 countries opened further rounds of talks on an international anti-tobacco treaty in Geneva. The treaty aims to cut smoking through measures such as restrictions on advertising and marketing. Tobacco advertising and sponsorship is currently worth an estimated £247.4m each year.
In a statement, WHO said, "How do you package death as life, disease as health and deadly addiction as the taste of freedom and a celebration of life?"
The WHO estimates that 4m people die from smoking every year -- a figure that is predicted to rise to 10m by 2030.
Health campaigners at the talks accused the US of trying to block progress in areas of the treaty and upsetting plans for a full advertising and sponsorship ban.
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