JANUARY 27, 2005
There is a world after tobacco
For many years the NASCAR Winston Cup was integrally linked to tobacco. After TV advertising of tobacco was banned in the United States in the late 1960s RJ Reynolds was looking for a way to get more exposure and decided to use its Winston brand as the title sponsor of the series. The deal lasted for 31 years. There was an onspoken rule that other tobacco companies stayed away from NASCAR although chewing tobacco companies such as Kodiak, Skoal Bandit and Copenhagen were big in their day. But that all came to an end in 2003 when Winston disappeared. Since then the big companies which did a deal with the US states agreed not to be involved in further sports sponsorship and so the only tobacco involvement in NASCAR these days is a small deal between PPC Racing and Victory Brands, a company which was not part of the non-sponsorship deal. Now Nicorette chewing gum, a stop-smoking product, has announced its plans to enter the Nextel Cup in 2005 with Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Casey Mears.
If NASCAR can do it, there is no reason to assume that Formula 1 cannot make a similar switch.
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