Canadian senate approves curb on tobacco ads

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OTTAWA, Ontario -- Canada's Senate has passed a sweeping new law curbing tobacco advertising and sponsorship in the country.

Senators voted 75-1 in favor of the law and made no changes, despite heavy lobbying from tobacco companies along with sports and cultural groups that rely heavily on sponsorship.

Vague definitions in the new regulations make advertising virtually impossible, argued RJR- Macdonald Chairman Rich Kauffeld. "It's hard to conceive of an advertisement that would be acceptable," he said last month when the law went to the Senate.

Canada's tobacco companies have hinted they'll challenge the restrictions - set to come into effect in October 1998 - in the Supreme Court, which in September 1995 struck down a similar law as unconstitutional.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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