The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged governments across the world to enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship at sporting events.
This call comes in light of tobacco companies establishing new partnerships with motor-racing teams.
According to WHO, all sporting bodies, including Formula 1 and MotoGP should adopt strong tobacco-free policies that ensure their events are smoke-free and that their activities and participants, including race teams, are not sponsored by tobacco companies.
British American Tobacco (BAT) recently announced “a new global partnership” with the Formula 1 team McLaren using the logo “a better tomorrow.” In making this announcement, BAT indicated that the multi-year partnership will provide a global platform to drive greater resonance of certain products, including glo, a heated tobacco product. This statement suggests that the company’s intent is to promote tobacco use.
In the case of Philip Morris International (PMI), the company has created a new logo (Mission Winnow) to be carried by Ferrari on cars, and Ducati on motorbikes, that previously carried branding for the cigarette brand Marlboro. PMI has also registered the Mission Winnow logo as a trademark, including for use with respect to tobacco products. Ducati carried this branding at a recent MotoGP.
Comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship reduce the consumption of tobacco products, including among young people. Article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) obliges Parties to the Convention to implement a comprehensive ban (or restrictions) on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.
The actions of the companies resulted in advertisement and promotion of tobacco products and tobacco use to the world at large, including young people. Tobacco product advertising and promotion occur both in countries that host events and in countries that receive transmissions of these events.
WHO stated that in a move to implement the ban, governments should issue penalties applicable under domestic laws and also, take preventative action, such as preventing the screening of events that violate domestic laws.