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Tobacco News
Killing cigarette ads in all sports advertising, sponsorship by July next year
  By: M. Hamzah Jamaludin
Source: NSTP e-Media (my), 2002-06-07, via tobacco.org

The Government will ban all types of sport advertising and sponsorship by July next year as a measure to curb smoking among youngsters.

Health director-general Tan Sri Datu Dr Mohamad Taha Arif said all advertisement and sponsorship contracts with tobacco companies must also be terminated within a year.

"It has to be stressed here that all advertisements by tobacco companies and their sponsorships for any type of activities will be terminated within one year," he said in his speech at the launch of the national level Tobacco-Free Week here today.

His speech was read by deputy director-general (public health division) Datuk Dr Tee Ah Sian.

It is learnt that the Control of Tobacco Products Regulation 1993 under the Food Act 1993 will be amended to allow the enforcement of the new ruling.

Dr Mohamad Taha said the decision was in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) efforts to institute a global law to control the use of tobacco under the "Framework Convention on Tobacco Control" or FCTC.

FCTC is an international accord used to monitor tobacco-related issues and check the conduct of giant tobacco companies.

The Government could not stop the sponsorship of the live and delayed telecasts of the current World Cup 2002 tournaments by a tobacco company as the agreement was made by the company and the licence holder before a memorandum of cooperation was signed between WHO and FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association).

Under the cooperation, FIFA bans all tobacco-related activities during the World Cup which include sponsorship by tobacco companies.

"It is unfortunate for Malaysians because the World Cup matches they watch," he said, "are polluted with sponsorhip advertisements by the tobacco company."

To check tobacco ads, the Government agreed to air more messages on negative effects of smoking during the prime time, Mohamad said.

The theme "Tobacco Free Sports - Play It Clean" was chosen for the World Non-Tobacco Day this year as part of the agreement made between WHO and FIFA to make this year's World Cup free from unhealthy element.

"Sports and tobacco should not mix as cigarettes can kill," he said. "Every year, four million smokers die worldwide while in Malaysia, at least 10,000 die due to tobacco-related diseases annually."


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