Orange Bowl Must Drop Tobacco Sponsorship
Camacho Cigars and smoking lounges have no place in sports
Posted by: Editor | Dec 20, 2011
Ten national public health and medical groups have called on the Orange Bowl Committee and the NCAA to cancel a cigar company sponsorship of the marquee college football game to prevent tobacco marketing at one of the nation’s premier sporting events.
Davidoff of Geneva, parent company of Camacho Cigars, last week announced that it has signed a three-year deal making Camacho Cigars a corporate sponsor of the Orange Bowl Festival, which includes the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Discover Orange Bowls, the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game and related fan events. The 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game will draw particularly intense fan interest and media attention.
Under the sponsorship agreement, Camacho Cigars will have a substantial presence at Sun Life stadium, with cigar lounges open to fans, and there will be a Camacho Club Lounge at the Orange Bowl Game Day Fan Zone, the largest pre-game event. The Camacho Cigars logo is also featured on the official Orange Bowl website.
In an open letter to the Orange Bowl Committee and the NCCA, the health groups said:
“The association of cigar smoking with one of the nation’s top collegiate sporting events sends the wrong message to impressionable young fans and helps market cigars as athletic, masculine and cool. Linking tobacco use to sports also downplays the serious health risks of tobacco products,” the groups wrote.
“This blatant promotion of cigars at a high-profile sporting event continues the tobacco industry’s decades-long practice of using sports and entertainment sponsorships to promote tobacco products, especially to youth. Cigarette and smokeless tobacco brand sponsorships are not allowed – for good reason – under the landmark federal law giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products,” the groups wrote. The FDA has authority to assert jurisdiction over cigars.
Cigars contain the same toxic and cancer-causing chemicals found in cigarettes, are addictive and harm health in many ways. Cigar smoking is also the second most common form of tobacco use among youth, after cigarette smoking.