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WHO praises China signing anti-tobacco pact
Updated: 2005-08-31 06:59

China sold 1,797.95 billion cigarettes in 2003, making it the world's largest tobacco market.

Tax from cigarette sales have been a major part of government revenues for years, while tobacco advertising has also played a large role in sponsoring Chinese sports and cultural events.

By signing the treaty, China must ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship in the print media and on radio, television and the Internet within five years. It also prohibits tobacco-company sponsorship of international events and activities, the WHO said.

"Ratification of the FCTC by China could not have come at a better time," said Dr Henk Bekedam, the WHO Representative in China.

"This allows China to truly join global and regional efforts to curb smoking. Many lives will be saved, public health will be strengthened, and the economy will benefit as well."

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