ASH pushes for new momentum on tobacco advertising

Friday 14 November 1997

ASH/ Press releases/


102 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4HW Tel: (020) 7739 5902 Fax: (020) 7613 0531

Press release14 November 1997 ASH
Action on Smoking
and Health

Embargo: 00.01 14 November 1997

ASH pushes for new momentum on tobacco advertising

In the light of more evidence that tobacco advertising through motor-racing encouragessmoking among teenagers [1], ASH is pressing the Government to recover from the wreckageof its tobacco policy. The Government must now do the following to save its discreditedtobacco policy and leave embarrassed Ministers with a fig-leaf of credibility:

Respect its own manifesto commitment to ban tobacco advertising, including advertising at Formula One circuits, on cars and driver tunics and for all other tobacco-sponsored events in the European Union.

Climb-down as far as necessary on December the 4th to achieve agreement with our European partners to the Directive currently under negotiation. The Government has proposed an exemption for Formula One from the whole Directive – including the bans on both advertising and sponsorship. As a minimum it should reinstate the parts of the Directive that ban advertising and apply these rigorously to Formula One.

Use restrictions on TV companies to prevent broadcast of events outside the European Union that are heavily tobacco sponsored in the Union. The TV Without Frontiers Directive could be used to do this. TV advertising of cigarettes was banned in the UK in 1965 – this principle should be applied to events whose purpose is at least in part to advertise tobacco.

Strengthen the UK tobacco White Paper. To compensate the Government must come out with a strong anti-tobacco programme which includes: spending £120 million on anti-tobacco advertising (the sum raised in tobacco taxes from underage smokers); widespread restrictions on smoking in public places; greatly expanded support for smoking cessation including nicotine replacement therapy on prescription; licensing of tobacco vendors and proper enforcement of age restrictions; and new bold warnings and plain packaging.

Director of ASH, Clive Bates, said: “Among all the talk of sleaze and partyfunding, we must remember that tobacco is quite literally a life or death matter. Aftertaking such a pounding in the last week, the Government must come off the ropes, get backinto the ring and start fighting their corner for the young people that the tobacco baronsare trying to recruit to smoking“.


Notes to editors[1] Cancer Research Campaign: new research fuels Formula One Row- embargo 00:01 14 November

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

Registered Charity No 262067
Action on Smoking and Health is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No998971. Registered address as above