Anti-Smoking Group Slams F1 Teams

Anti-smoking pressure group ASH has launched a public attack on those Formula One teams planning to carry on with tobacco sponsorship beyond this week's pan-European ban

Anti-Smoking Group Slams F1 Teams

An advertising and sponsorship ban in the European Union comes into effect after this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, but it looks unlikely to bring the expected end to the involvement of cigarette companies that many had previously thought.

It is understood that Ferrari will definitely continue to retain sponsorship from Marlboro for at least another year, carrying the company's logos while it can, while both Renault and BAR are likely to retain ties to their tobacco backers.

In a statement issued by ASH on Friday, ahead of a clarification later today about the British government's stance towards F1 on its own anti-tobacco legislation, the group said it was 'deplored' by the sport's attitude to tobacco.

Deborah Arnott, direct of ASH, said: "It is deplorable that Formula One 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. 

"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 One 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."

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