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Philip Morris to further smoke-free drive with MotoGP extension

US cigarette and tobacco company Philip Morris International has extended its partnership with the MotoGP motorcycling championship, with the deal set to be aligned to continue its drive to promote smoke-free products.

PMI and Dorna Sports, MotoGP’s commercial rights-holder, have collaborated for 26 years and the partnership will now run until the end of 2021.

As of 2019, the relationship will focus on advancing the cause of a smoke-free world. PMI has committed to transform its business and encourage all men and women who would otherwise continue smoking to replace cigarettes with better alternatives as soon as possible.

PMI vice-president of global event partnerships, Riccardo Parino, said: “The best choice for consumers concerned about the health risks of smoking is to quit tobacco and nicotine altogether.

“Today, however, technology, science and innovation provide a real opportunity to encourage all men and women who continue smoking to switch from cigarettes to less harmful, smoke-free alternatives. Working together with Dorna, we can accelerate positive change for the millions of MotoGP fans who smoke.”

The partnership will be used to raise awareness of the benefits of quitting smoking and the potential role of innovative solutions based on science for those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke. PMI and Dorna will share more details about their joint initiative in 2019.

Dorna chief executive Carmelo Ezpeleta said: “Every year, technology and innovation are helping to improve MotoGP racing. By working with PMI, we can make a difference by encouraging a positive change at MotoGP events around the world.”

Since PMI became a public company in 2008, it has spent more than $4.5bn (€3.9bn) to develop, substantiate and build manufacturing capacity for a wide portfolio of smoke-free products. PMI’s extension with MotoGP comes after Ferrari last month unveiled a new livery as main sponsor PMI returned to a more prominent branding association with the Formula One motor-racing team.

Ferrari has retained its predominantly red colour scheme, but Philip Morris has chosen to promote its new ‘Mission Winnow’ project through white logos added to the car’s nose, halo, sidepods, engine cover and rear wing.

Mission Winnow is designed to be a new global initiative to create engagement around the role of science, technology and innovation as a powerful force for good in any industry. In February, PMI pledged to work with Ferrari to promote smoke-free products after confirming an extension of its long-running partnership with the team. Philip Morris began sponsoring Ferrari in the mid-1980s and its new multi-year deal will run until 2021.