Mar 18, 2010 at 10:05 PM
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FDA Prohibits Tobacco Brand Sponsorship

The FDA issued a final ruling today which contains a broad set of federal requirements designed to curb access to and the appeal of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to children and adolescents in the United States.

The Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents, restricts the sale, distribution, and promotion of these products to kids. An important part of the rule concerns event sponsorship.

  • "The rule prohibits tobacco brand name sponsorship of any athletic, musical, or other social or cultural event, or any team or entry in those events."

    With radio and TV advertising of cigarettes being banned in 1971 by the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, event marketing took on an important role in the marketing and promotion of tobacco products. Firms like Philip Morris/Virginia Slims and R.J. Reynolds/Winston sponsored major sporting events well into the past decade. R.J. Reynolds dissolved their sponsorship of NASCAR in 2003.

    Both Canada and the U.K. banned tobacco sponsorship of cultural and sporting events in 2003.

    Watch today's presser: