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SmithKline Gets in Fast Lane to Smokers

September 25, 1997|Greg Johnson

SmithKline Beecham must figure that the best way to advertise a smoking-cessation product is by getting in smokers' faces. The Philadelphia-based company that makes the NicoDerm patch and Nicorette gum is sponsoring a car in this weekend's Marlboro 500 race at California Speedway in Fontana. The car will be emblazoned with the NicoDerm and Nicorette logos, a first in the auto-racing world, which draws heavily from tobacco brands like Marlboro and Winston. The sponsorship includes an off-track challenge for competitors: SmithKline promises to donate $500 to the American Cancer Society for each member of Championship Auto Racing Teams who quits smoking. As for car driver Dennis Vitolo? He stopped smoking the day he took up racing.

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