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Youth access prevention

Our role in preventing youth access to our products

We believe our products are only suitable for adults and we do not want people who are underage to use them.

We fully support laws and regulations prohibiting the sale of our products to anyone under the legal minimum age in their country. We also believe that enforcement and penalties for breaking such laws must be tough enough to discourage anybody from selling to people who are underage.

A global approach

We know how important it is that our marketing practices should not undermine efforts to prevent the use of our products by those underage.

That’s why our operations in our markets worldwide are required to follow marketing principles which are globally consistent and demonstrate our commitment to marketing appropriately.

Our International Marketing Principles (IMP) provide detailed guidance on all aspects of our marketing of our combustible tobacco products. Central to them is our commitment that our marketing is aimed only at adult smokers and is not designed to engage or appeal to youth.

In recent years our portfolio has grown to meet consumer demand for Next Generation Products, including Vapour Products. As a result, in 2016 we published Vapour Products Marketing Principles which provide a responsible and consistent approach for all our marketing activities for this product category. Aligned with our IMPs, one of our core principles is that we only target our Vapour Products marketing at adults. We are currently developing marketing principles for our Tobacco Heating Products.

Our activities

In addition to our strict requirement to only market to adult consumers of our products, we expect youth access prevention activities to be carried out in all our markets where we directly distribute our products and where these activities are permitted by local legislation. In 2016, we achieved this in all these types of markets.

Our commitment to only market our combustible tobacco products to adult smokers has long been supported by our global Youth Smoking Prevention (YSP) Guidance and activities for our operations worldwide.

Youth access preventionIn 2017, we revised and strengthened our approach further by developing new Youth Access Prevention (YAP) Guidelines for our operations to cover all our different product categories – from conventional cigarettes to Vapour Products and Tobacco Heating Products.

We are also broadening the scope of our YAP activities to include markets where our products are distributed through third parties.

Our global approach requires all our operations in our markets, wherever possible, to:

  • work directly with retailers to uphold minimum age laws and our own internal standards
  • support distributors in providing training and point-of-sale materials for use by retailers
  • engage with governments in markets where there is no minimum age law of 18 to see one introduced.

The support we provide to our operations in our markets and to distributors includes training and point-of-sale materials for retailers to help them uphold minimum age laws.

How we are doing

See Youth smoking prevention  in our sustainability performance centre for the latest data about these programmes and minimum age laws around the world. From 2018 onwards, we will report our progress against our new YAP Guidelines.

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