Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

FIA Reiterates Aim to Ban Tobacco Ads by 2007

Wednesday November 21st, 2001

Formula One aims to ban tobacco advertising by 2007, the sport's ruling body reiterated on Wednesday.

"It is our intention to ban tobacco sponsorship from international motor sport by the end of the 2006 season," the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a policy statement.

"We will seek support for this initiative from all countries that host FIA World Championship events. We will encourage motor sport competitors to diversify away from tobacco sponsorship."

FIA president Max Mosley said current tobacco sponsorship in motor sport probably exceeded $350 million per year. The FIA's World Motor Sport Council agreed last year to introduce a world-wide ban on tobacco advertising from the end of 2006.

Among top Formula One teams, British American Racing (BAR) are majority owned by British American Tobacco, Ferrari are sponsored by Philip Morris, Jordan by the Benson and Hedges brand and McLaren by West.

Japan Tobacco sponsored Benetton and some Grands Prix, such as Hungary, are sponsored by cigarette companies.

"We believe that the end of 2006 is a realistic timetable for a worldwide ban on tobacco sponsorship," said the FIA statement. "We advise all motor sport competitors that receive tobacco sponsorship to ensure that their sponsorship contracts reflect this date in any agreements they make."

The statement was issued before Mosley joins World Health Organisation (WHO) director general Gro Harlem Brundtland on Thursday at the launch of the WHO's "Tobacco Free Sports" campaign in Geneva. World soccer body FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are also attending the campaign launch with other sports organisations.

Representatives of 191 governments will meet at the same time to negotiate an international treaty on tobacco control.

Published at 17:36:36 GMT

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