JULY 29, 2005
ASH attacks F1 teams
ASH, the British anti-smoking organisation, has launched a blistering attack on Formula 1 saying that the EU law banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is being threatened by possible non-compliance by at least two Formula 1 teams. ASH claims that the Renault and Ferrari teams have said that they will continue to use tobacco liveries in defiance of the new law.
"It is deplorable that Formula 1 teams, under pressure from their tobacco sponsors, are threatening to undermine the new law when its intention is perfectly clear, that is, an end to the glamorisation of smoking via sport," said ASH's director of ASH. "It is also regrettable that the European Commission has not given member states clear guidance on the implementation of the Directive. But that does not give Formula 1 free rein to ignore the law. All EU member states should implement the Directive into national law without any further delay. We must put an end, once and for all, to the insidious promotion of a deadly product that kills more than 500,000 Europeans a year."
There are dangers in going ahead with tobacco sponsorship which the tobacco teams may not have taken into account. We hear that the World Health Organisation is planning a conference of parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and if the F1 teams and tobacco companies ignore the directive it is likely that motorsport will be high on the agenda at the meeting and there may well be proposals for newer and stricter global measures. The FCTC already requires countries that have ratified the Convention to curb tobacco advertising and sponsorship and there may be an attempt to strengthen this requirement.
It remains to be seen whether any of the teams will actually front up with tobacco sponsorship in races later this year.
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