Published: 01/12/2005 Volume 115 No. 5984 Page

4 December 1997, Health Service Journal

In light of recent wrangles over whether or not to ban smoking in pubs, we take a look this week at the row over tobacco sponsorship. Minister for food and fags, as Tessa Jowell had been dubbed, was having to defend the recent decision to exempt Formula One motor racing from the proposed ban to the Commons health select committee. Written evidence from the Department of Health said Formula One was a special case because of its 'global nature'.

In presenting the then still very young government's views on reducing smoking and its effects, Ms Jowell said it was considering raising the minimum age at which people could buy cigarettes to 18 (whatever happened to that? ).

Officials were also looking at the ease with which young people could buy cigarettes from vending machines, and the availability of cheap tobacco that was being smuggled into the country, she said.