Kids should not smoke or use any tobacco products. As the largest tobacco manufacturer in the U.S., we believe we have an important role to play in helping reduce underage tobacco use.
There is no single reason why young people engage in risky behaviors, such as experimenting with tobacco products, alcohol or drugs. Experts point to a variety of societal, environmental and personal factors that must be considered to help prevent these behaviors, and recommend a multi-faceted approach. That’s why we support a positive youth development approach to preventing underage tobacco use, emphasizing positive relationships and activities, and reducing risk factors. This approach can help kids make healthy decisions and resist a broad range of risky behaviors, such as tobacco use.
We support a variety of programs and initiatives to help reduce underage access to tobacco products
, fund organizations that provide kids with the support they need to make healthy decisions, and support the development of tools for parents to help them raise kids who don’t use any tobacco products.Learn more about our history of supporting efforts to reduce underage tobacco use.
In the late 1990s, Philip Morris USA entered into agreements with the states
that have dramatically changed the way tobacco products are marketed and sold. In June 2009, the Food and Drug Administration was given broad regulatory authority over tobacco products. PM USA supported this legislation. The law gives the FDA the authority to address a range of tobacco issues, including reducing underage tobacco use, encouraging cessation and communicating the health effects of tobacco products.
In addition to complying with applicable legal and regulatory requirements, we take a number of steps designed to limit reach of our brands and marketing materials to unintended audiences. For example, we:
- use one-to-one consumer communications, such as direct mail, email, consumer websites, and certain other consumer marketing activities, that involve self-imposed minimum age requirements of 21 years of age or older and age-verification procedures.
- present our brands and communications to legal-aged tobacco consumers in retail stores where they make their final brand selection.
- do not pay for or endorse any product placement. We decline all requests to use, display or even reference our brands in movies, television shows or other public entertainment media.
- require retailers participating in our trade programs to take additional measures that are not mandated by federal law, including:
- training store personnel who sell tobacco products using We Card® or equivalent training;
- displaying We Card or equivalent signage; and
- using an age-verification tool.
We also follow Altria Group’s Standards for Underage Tobacco Prevention.
Learn more about our marketing approach