EU health commissioner Markos Kyprianou is on a mission to drive tobacco sponsorship out of Formula 1. In an interview with Dutch newspaper Financial Times Deutschland, Kyprianou revealed he had written to both the FIA and Ferrari over the issue of tobacco sponsorship both are sponsored by cigarette company Marlboro s parent company, Philip Morris.
“Formula 1 is a symbol,â€ Kyprianou explained. “We must limit the advertising of tobacco as much as possible so we can limit the influence on young people.â€
Kyprianou is concerned that the EU ban on tobacco advertising is undermined by the fact that Grand Prixs in China, Bahrain and Monaco still allow cigarette advertising. He has already had talks with Price Albert of Monaco over the matter and has a meeting scheduled with Chinese officials later in the month.
“If European citizens still see tobacco advertising during races, it undermines the purpose of our legislation,” he continued. “Formula One drivers are extremely popular: they can become models. If they carry the name of a tobacco company on their chest then that sends the wrong message straight to young people.”