ASH shows F1 why it should cut out cigarettes by 2002

Thursday 09 July 1998

Press releaseEmbargo 9 July 1998 11:00 ASH
Action on Smoking
and Health

Formula One should honour its promise to break its link with tobacco by 2002. On theeve of the British Grand Prix, ASH has provided a dossier of evidence to the Formula Onegoverning body, the FIA, showing that tobacco advertising, especially through the sponsorship of motor-racing, is likely to cause a rise in cigarette consumption and tonurture teenage smoking. Max Mosley, the President of the FIA, made a declaration on 5th March at the Australian Grand Prix, that the sport would end its use of tobacco money by 2002 if it could be shown that tobacco advertising and sponsorship increased smoking. Thisreport adds to the evidence showing that the link is clear.

The ASH evidence: Formula One and Tobacco: the world’s most dangerous sport (pdf) shows how tobacco companies are inevitably drawn to teenagers and that Formula One is an ideal vehicle to reach them. The evidence is drawn from about 60 tobaccoindustry confidential documents released in litigation the United States. Clive Bates,Director of ASH, said:

“We were very encouraged by Max Mosley’s offer in Melbourne and take him at his word, but he’s got to persuade the teams and circuits to go along with it. It gets down to a battle of healthy hearts and lungs versus 300 million dollars of tainted money.”

“The documents show that teenagers are a key market for tobacco companies and that their marketing strategies, including motorsport, have been targetted at the young. You have to conclude that Formula One, through its association with tobacco, ultimately leads to unnecessary addiction, illness and premature death.”

“It is ironic that the FIA with its focus on driving safety, should be posing such a serious threat to health through tobacco advertising in Formula One. The people that run the sport should think carefully about what Formula One actually stands for.”




  1. The report will be released at a press conference to be held jointly with Dr. Peter Brand, Liberal Democrat Public Health Spokesman at 11:00-11:30, 9th July 1998 in Paddy Ashdown’s briefing room near Central Lobby in the House of Commons.
  2. Tobacco sponsorship of Formula One must end no later than 2006 under the recently agreed European Union Directive banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship. Events that are not organised at world level have until 2003. EU governments are free to end sponsorship earlier.



Contact Clive Bates, Director (020) 7739 5902
Amanda Sandford, Communications Director (020) 7739 5902

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