GENEVA - The World Health Organization called Thursday for better enforcement of bans on tobacco advertising at sporting events, after tobacco companies discretely reentered sponsorship deals with Formula 1 teams.
"WHO is urging governments to enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship at sporting events, including when hosting or receiving broadcasts of Formula 1 and MotoGP events," the UN health agency said in a statement.
The appeal comes after Philip Morris International (PMI) and British American Tobacco (BAT) formed partnerships with their scientific research subsidiaries and Formula 1 teams Ferrari and McLaren, more than a decade after cigarette advertising was banned from the sport.
Since 2006, Formula 1's ruling body FIA has been opposed to any advertising or sponsoring of cigarettes or tobacco.
The UN agency stressed the importance of comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, pointing out that such bans have been shown to reduce tobacco consumption, including among young people.