the unwillingness of the us to take strong action against the tobacco companies was highlighted during the second round of talks regarding the World Health Organisation's framework convention on tobacco control. The talks were held in Geneva from April 30 to May 4, 2001.
The us government's reluctance has been attributed to the strong links between the Bush government and the industry. The us delegation did not agree to impose a complete ban on advertising of tobacco products and objected to standards set for tar content of cigarettes, smoking in public places and duty-free sales. "The us contribution has been entirely negative -- weakening, delaying and deleting anything substantial," said Clive Bates, director of Action on Smoking and Health, an anti-smoking group. "It would be better if the us withdrew from the negotiations immediately, rather than forcing other countries to forgo the treaty," he said. Other countries like Germany and Japan have also shown reluctance to introduce stringent measures. The European Union had also taken a weak stance even though individual member states such France and the uk favour relatively strong curbs on tobacco use. In contrast, African countries wanted a total ban on advertising.
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