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. To drive change across the industry, we also advocate to governments for minimum age laws of 18 where these aren’t already in place, and for tougher penalties for those who breach them.

A global approach

It’s essential that any tobacco or nicotine products are not marketed to youth. Given the nature of our products, we take seriously our commitment to market them responsibly and only to adults.

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 conventional combustible tobacco products and our potentially reduced-risk products portfolio. Central to the principles is our commitment that our marketing is aimed only at adult consumers and is not designed to engage or appeal to youth.

Our activities

Youth access preventionBeyond our strict requirement for adult-only marketing, we also expect all our markets, where possible, to conduct youth access prevention activities for the sales of our tobacco and nicotine products. 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. In 2018, we launched our revised YAP Guidelines that now cover all our product categories (including all PRRPs), and broadened their scope to also include markets where our products are distributed through third parties. It is now also mandatory for all markets – unless there is a government ban in place – to provide retailers with point-of-sale materials with YAP messaging. To support their application, we rolled out new training for our Trade Marketing and Distribution employees, and strengthened governance procedures at Group level to ensure compliance.

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.

Social media

We are clear that social media can only be used for activities that do not involve the advertising of any of our cigarette brands. Where we do use social media influencers for our potentially reduced-risk products, we have strict controls in place to ensure our partnerships are appropriate, and only ever targeted at adults. To this end, we use analytic tools to ensure that followers and audiences of these influencers are majority-adult.

How we are doing

We report our Youth smoking prevention  performance in our Sustainability Performance Centre. In 2017, we conducted youth smoking prevention activities based on our previous guidelines. The revised global YAP Guidelines, with additional requirements around provision of point-of-sale material with YAP messaging for the sales of all our different product categories (including potentially-reduced risk products) came into effect as of 1 January 2018, and we report adherence from 2018 onwards. We report alignment with YAP Guidelines as those markets conducting activities or those markets granted an exemption from conducting these, in alignment with the Guidelines.