asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make a statement on Government policy towards the sponsorship of sporting events by tobacco companies.
The Government welcome and encourage commercial sponsorship of sport. It is also concerned to limit the advertising and promotion of cigarettes because of the health risks associated with smoking. The Government continue to believe that the tobacco companies' activities associated with sports sponsorship should be within the framework of a voluntary agreement with the industry.The current agreement fell due for reconsideration at the end of last year. I am currently negotiating a new agreement with the industry. In doing so, I shall take account of the revised voluntary agreement on cigarette advertising which the sponsorship agreement supports; the advice which I have received from interested bodies; and the concerns which have been expressed to me by members of the public. The progress of negotiations, by agreement with the industry, is confidential.