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Youth smoking prevention

Working on the front line

We believe that tobacco products are only suitable for adult consumers and we do not want children to smoke.

We fully support laws and regulations prohibiting the sale of tobacco 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 the underage. 

A global approach

We know how important it is that our marketing practices should not undermine efforts to combat underage smoking.

That’s why our companies are required to follow our strict International Marketing Principles, which are globally consistent and demonstrate our commitment to marketing appropriately and only to adult tobacco consumers.

We also require all our Group companies to:

  • engage with governments to establish a minimum age law of 18 where none exists; and
  • raise retailers’ awareness of minimum age laws in their country.

Our activities

We work with retailers around the world to prevent underage smoking. This includes helping to raise their awareness of, and compliance with, minimum age laws, supporting proof-of-age schemes, and providing training to shop staff to help them spot underage buyers and refuse to sell to them.

In 2015, we conducted youth smoking prevention activities in all markets where we are able. We discourage the sale of single cigarettes because of the lack of health warnings and risk of underage access; however, there are some markets where this is a culturally accepted practice.

To help address this, we revised our International Marketing Principles in 2015 to enable our companies in such markets to supply in-store posters and materials with clearly visible youth smoking prevention messages and health warnings.

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.