MPs to approve tobacco advert ban

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The Commons was expected to approve a ban on tobacco advertising last night as a Bill outlawing its public promotion entered its final stages.

The Commons was expected to approve a ban on tobacco advertising last night as a Bill outlawing its public promotion entered its final stages.

The Government's Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill was heard after five years of controversy and a series of setbacks for ministers.

The legislation bans press, poster and internet advertising of cigarettes and makes tobacco sponsorship of most sports illegal from next year. Formula One racing and snooker will continue to receive tobacco sponsorship until 2006 unless ministers abolish the exemption.The Government promised to ban tobacco advertising in 1997, but this pledge was thrown into disarray after it emerged that ministers had argued for an exemption from a sponsorship ban for motor racing. The Labour Party later handed back a £1m donation to the Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone.

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