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    Blackburn Rovers defends deal with vaping brand Totally Wicked 

    Blackburn Rovers has addressed concerns and criticism regarding its sponsorship agreement with vaping brand Totally Wicked, asserting that it does not contradict the promotion of a healthy lifestyle for children.

    During a House of Commons debate on Wednesday regarding children and vaping, Conservative chairman of the Health and Social Care Committee, Steve Brine, called on the club to reflect on their decision. SNP’s Kirsten Oswald has also questioned the acceptability of vaping advertising on players’ shirts.

    The football club, in a statement on Thursday, defended its collaboration with Totally Wicked, and emphasised that no evidence has been found to suggest that the sponsorship encourages underage vaping.

    “At no point during our long-standing relationship has the idea that the Totally Wicked brand might appeal disproportionately to children been raised and we have seen no evidence to suggest that our sponsorship has encouraged an uptake of vaping among children,” A Blackburn Rovers spokesperson said.

    The Championship football team and Totally Wicked, who recently announced the extension of their partnership for a sixth season, argue that vaping plays a significant role in aiding adults in quitting smoking.

    “Totally Wicked lead the way in providing the products that have enabled hundreds of thousands of smokers to choose a safer alternative,” the club spokesperson said.

    “Every adult smoker who finds vaping through our association is a positive outcome, but the products should be accessible to over-18s only. To this end, Totally Wicked adopt strict age verification protocols, as required with any age-restricted category.

    “Both Blackburn Rovers and Totally Wicked advocate that vaping has a positive and proven role in supporting the reduction and ultimate eradication of smoking within our communities.”

    The club said they will continue to carry out education and awareness initiatives to their fans and communities around the positive role that vaping can play in reducing adult smoking rates, terming this continued awareness drive as a ‘very positive outcome’ of its long-standing partnership with Totally Wicked.

    “As our principal club sponsor, the Totally Wicked logo will appear on the front of our first team home, away and third shirts, and on adult replica kits, but not on any playing shirts or replica shirts for under-18s,” the spokesperson added.

    “As a football club at the heart of its local community, we acknowledge we have a responsibility to encourage healthy life choices for children and we do not see that raising awareness of the positive role that vaping plays in helping to eradicate smoking among adults and empowering more people to quit smoking for good conflicts with this in any way.”

    Totally Wicked first became Rovers’ official training kit sponsor in September 2018. The thriving local business, whose headquarters are based just a short distance from Ewood Park, enhanced their relationship with the club in January 2022 by also taking over as shirt sponsor.

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