Editorials

UK government fails its first test on public health

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7119.1325 (Published 22 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1325

The government should reaffirm its commitment to a total ban on tobacco sponsorship

  1. Tony Delamothe ([email protected]), Deputy editora
  1. a BMJ

    As we went to press Tessa Jowell, Britain's minister for public health, was preparing to appear before the Commons European legislation select committee. Her difficult brief was to explain why the government had reneged on its promise to ban tobacco advertising by exempting Formula One motor racing.1 Given that such an exemption jeopardises the best chance yet of getting European health ministers to agree to ban tobacco advertising throughout the European Union, she may find the going tough.

    The government's only honourable exit from this debacle is to admit that it goofed (as the prime minister has begun to do—though so far only over presentational matters) and attend next month's meeting of European health ministers determined to support a total ban on tobacco advertising. If Ms Jowell continues to support the unsupportable line that …

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