Sunday, November 26, 2006
Article in the Chicago Tribune -- NASCAR drives in a smoke-free direction, by Sarah Talalay:
Smoking and NASCAR always seemed to go together--a natural pairing for a sport whose roots were planted as firmly in the South as tobacco farming.
For 33 years, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s Winston brand sponsored the sport's top series. Cigarettes were given out for free by the carton at racetracks across the country. The practice encouraged a culture of smoking among race teams and fans.
But when RJR ended its sponsorship after the 2003 season--NASCAR moved from cigarettes to cellular phones with Nextel's sponsorship--it opened the doors for the maker of Nicorette, NicoDerm and Commit.
Now, instead of free smokes, fans can get educational messages and coupons for gum, patches and lozenges designed to help smokers quit.