In brief

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 16 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1022

UK delays ban on tobacco advertisements: The UK government is to delay the imposition of a total ban on tobacco advertising for almost three years. Billboard and magazine advertisements will be outlawed on 10 December; retailers will have until March 2000 to take down shopfront signs; mailshots attached to cigarette packets will end in July 2000; and advertising in EU publications sold in Britain will end in July 2002.

England has new chief nursing officer: Sarah Mullahy will succeed Dame Yvonne Moores as chief nursing officer for England. She is currently director of nursing and quality and deputy chief executive at Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust in London.

Israel and UK link up on research: The United Kingdom and Israel will invest £15.5m ($24.8m) over the next three years on medical and scientific research and development projects, with the aim of bringing patented products to European and world markets. When the BRITECH Foundation identifies a proposal as having high marketable potential, the fund will finance the project up to 50

UK GPs are ill equipped for mental health problems: Research by the Mental Health Care Association has found that GPs are spending almost a third of their time on mental health problems in patients, but many feel ill equipped to help. Almost a third of the 325 GPs surveyed said that they had no interest in the subject.

Rate of syphilis in US falls: The rate of syphilis in the United States in 1998 was the lowest recorded. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the national rate of new cases was 2.6 per 100 000 population and was concentrated in 28 of the country's 3000 counties.

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