Thu, Sep 13, 2007 - Page 20 News List

EU wants tobacco promos banned at Chinese Grand Prix

AP , BEIJING

The EU's health commissioner has asked China to ban tobacco promotions at next month's Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in keeping with EU law.

Markos Kyprianou said yesterday he told Chinese Vice Health Minister Chen Xiaohong (陳嘯宏) the EU was concerned about images of cigarette advertisements being beamed back into Europe.

EU law bans cigarette ads in printed media, on radio and over the Internet, as well as tobacco sponsorship of such events like Formula One Grand Prix races.

"It is of concern to us because it is clear our legislation does not have an extraterritorial effect, so it cannot be implemented abroad," Kyprianou said.

"But the races are being broadcast back to Europe and are being viewed by the European citizens, so in a way it undermines and limits the effectiveness of our own legislation in protecting citizens, especially young people, from this kind of tobacco marketing," he said.

China has banned almost all forms of tobacco advertising and promotion, but has granted an exemption to Formula One. The sport's organizers have obtained such waivers by capitalizing on the country's desire to hold the lucrative races.

"I urged the Chinese government to proceed with a tobacco ban, a ban on tobacco sponsorship," Kyprianou said.

He said the sides had agreed to further discussions on the issue.

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