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ITC Ltd has decided to voluntarily withdraw from all sponsorships of sporting activities irrespective of the legal position on the subject following the Goveernment's decision to bar sponsorship of sports and cultural events by cigarette and other tobacc o product companies. According to an official statement released by the company here today, the decision has been taken in a constructive spirit and to avoid any controversy. Although ITC has long-term arrangements in respect of sponsorships of various sports, it has already initiated action to exit from such arrangements and hopes to complete the process by April 1. ITC also proposes to progressively scale down its cigarette advertising. The statement says, ``ITC believes that this action on its part will create the right climate for a constructive dialogue that will help develop appropriate content Buy Cheap Cigarettes Online, rules and regulations to make the intended legislation equitable and implementable Discount Cigarettes Online.'' It has expressed the hope that the proposed legislation will not, in any way, place the Indian cigarette industry at a disadvantage in relation to its international counterparts which enjoy free access to communicate on television channels uplinked from outside India and seen in the country by a very wide cross-section of the population Menthol Cigarettes Brands. For instance, Marlboro's sponsorship of the Formula 1 car racing on uplinked television channels is reputed to enjoy the maximum viewership among the younger sections o f the Indian population. In order to ensure a level playing field, the proposed legislation will have to address the issue of national cigarette companies currently being able to advertise their brands in foreign magazines which are widely sold in India. This aspect assumes even more importance in the context of the growing menace of contraband cigarettes Best Menthol Cigarettes. Cigarettes, though constituting only 16 per cent of the tobacco consumption in the country Cheap Cigarettes Online, contribute over 90 per cent of Government revenues from tobacco, and together with tobacco, also account for almost 100 per cent of the foreign exchange earnings from the tobacco sector. It will not be in the interest of the exchequer and the consumers, if unworkable restrictions on smoking in public places compel downgrading of tobacco consumption from high excise duty paying cigarettes to other forms like chewing tobacco, out of fear o f harassment by the enforcing agencies, it has pointed out. ITC has clarified that it will continue to dialogue with the Government to support the creation of a meaningful and practical regulatory framework which can balance the interests of the tobacco farmers, the consumers, the exchequer, societal health conce rns, and the Indian economy, as a whole. The company had already announced sometime back that it was not going to renew its contract for sponsorship of prestigious racing events such as the Invitation Cup, as the viewership of the sport was not picking up.
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