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European Commission examines F1 deals

18 Feb 2019. The European Commission will be investigating the recent deals between Formula One racing teams and tobacco companies, The Times reported.

In recent months, two Formula One racing teams have signed deals with big tobacco companies. Ferrari is now supported by Philip Morris International's "Mission Winnow" brand, while McLaren has signed British American Tobacco's "A Better Tomorrow". Both brands do not focus on advertising tobacco products but rather concentrate on science to find less harmful solutions for smoking (PMI) and "potentially reduced risk products" (BAT).

According to the report, several European regulations govern the tobacco industry, including the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which prohibits advertising and sponsorship of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes at sporting events. The relationship between Formula One and tobacco companies has caused concerns among public health campaigners and academics and led the European Commission to take a closer look at the initiatives, the report said.