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Formula One

Wednesday, July 30

Vote eases tobacco ban
Associated Press

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Parliament voted to ease a ban on tobacco advertising in an attempt to get the Belgian Grand Prix back on the Formula One calendar next year.

The Chamber of Deputies approved the bill 103-32, with two abstentions, a day after it passed the Senate. It becomes law after it is signed by King Albert II, a formality.

The race was dropped from the 2004 schedule by the sport's world governing body after the Belgian government said it would introduce the advertising ban in August, three years before a European Union ban takes effect.

But the biggest advocates of the ban, the Greens, were dropped from the governing coalition after faring poorly in last month's elections, clearing the way for a new vote.

The race has been an economic boon for the French-speaking eastern region around Spa-Francorchamps track for more than five decades.

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