FIA scraps tobacco sponsorship ban

The sport's governing body, the FIA, has withdrawn its plans to introduce a self-imposed ban on tobacco sponsorship in motorsport, based on legal advice, and has reiterated that promoters and competitors should cease tobacco sponsorship from October 1, 2006

FIA scraps tobacco sponsorship ban

The widely-expected decision, taken by the World Motor Sports Council that met in Paris today (Wednesday), follows a long-running dispute over tobacco advertising between the FIA and the European Union.

The FIA had agreed to implement a ban on tobacco sponsorship in motorsport in October 2006, in line with dates suggested by the World Health Organisation. However, the EU recently introduced its own ban that began in July 2005.

FIA President Max Mosley had repeatedly warned that several F1 teams had sponsorship deals with tobacco firms that extended past this date, and that if the EU persisted in its ban the FIA could be forced to scrap its ban and move races away from Europe into countries where tobacco advertising was still allowed.

In place of its ban, the FIA has introduced a recommendation, which suggests that "motorsport promoters and competitors (including circuit owners, event organisers, teams and drivers) should cease all forms of tobacco sponsorship from October 1, 2006."

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