Cigars are as Miami as white guayabaras, cafecitos and questionable uses of teal and pink, but a national group is slamming the Orange Bowl this week for including the Calle Ocho favorites in the bowl week festivities.
The American Cancer Society has sent a letter to NCAA and Orange Bowl officials demanding that they withdraw a three-year sponsorship deal with Miami's Camacho Cigar company because "tobacco has no place in athletics." Don't tell John Daly!
Last week, Camacho signed a sponsorship deal the Orange Bowl, which will be played Jan. 4 this year at Sun Life Stadium.
The deal gives Camacho advertising rights at all Orange Bowl games plus the 2013 BCS championship game, including a pre-game smoking lounge where guests can puff up some Camacho cigars.
The Cancer Society and Tobacco-Free Kids say the bowl is helping Camacho introduce young football fans to the evils of smoking by including the cigars at the game, pointing out that the Federal Drug Administration last year issued a restriction on advertising tobacco products in sporting events.
Even though the law restricts the marketing of tobacco products in sports, the agency has yet to use its authority to act on cigars, says Marie Cocco, a spokeswoman for DC-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
"They help market tobacco products to kids and they should just do the right thing and cancel their sponsorship," Cocco says.
Representatives from Camacho Cigars and their parent company, Davidoff of Geneva based in Pinellas Park, FL, could not be reached for comment, and neither could Orange Bowl officials.
Here's the letter the advocates are circulating: