YOUTH ACCESS PREVENTION
Tobacco and NGP are for adult smokers only. We do not want minors to use any of our products and take youth access prevention very seriously. Preventing minors from using tobacco products is an issue for society as a whole to resolve. We play our part by not directing the marketing of our products to anyone under the age of 18, or higher minimum age where specified locally, or to non-smokers.
We market and sell our products responsibly, adhering to regulation at all times wherever we do business. Our International Marketing Standard (IMS) sets out clear rules and principles to ensure our advertising and marketing are only ever aimed at adult smokers.
We insist that all Imperial Brands companies and employees, as well as the agencies who work with us, stringently adhere to our IMS and local legislation. Where local legislation is stricter than our IMS, this takes precedence, and where local legislation may be less stringent, then our own high standards set out in the IMS take precedence. The IMS has been translated into 14 specific languages to cover markets where the IMS standard was a higher standard than local legal or voluntary market restrictions.
We have an equally stringent IMS for NGP and fully support, and advocate for, legislation prohibiting sales of NGP to minors. The core principles of this standard include:
(1) We believe that alternatives to conventional tobacco products such as vapour products can potentially make a significant contribution to tobacco harm reduction and we recognise that as such, they should only be marketed responsibly.
(2) We are committed to the marketing, advertising and sale of our vapour products responsibly within the local laws, codes of practice and voluntary agreements which govern the advertising and promotion of vapour products.
(3) We have adopted a number of standards which govern our advertising, promotion and marketing activities, and corresponding sales of our vapour products. These standards are set out in our E-Vapour Products Marketing Standard and apply to all our marketing activities.
(4) We fully support youth access prevention and minimum age restrictions for the lawful sale and purchase of vapour products.
(5) We believe that vapour products should only be sold to and used by adult smokers and we communicate in a responsible manner about our vapour products.
(6) Our E-Vapour Marketing Standard shall not apply to any E-Vapour Products that are licensed by any medicines authority nor any heated tobacco products.
Our IMS and E-Vapour Products Marketing Standard can be accessed from the download library.
We believe social media has an important role to play in ensuring greater awareness of the potential health benefits of NGP and agree with regulators that such communication should only ever be aimed at adult smokers. Instances of our employees and agencies failing to follow our strict guidelines are rare. Whenever we have been made aware of inappropriate social media use, we have immediately removed any offending posts and taken appropriate action after conducting a thorough investigation.
We also work with retailers to reinforce the message that tobacco and NGP are solely for adults and encourage responsible selling. We support initiatives aimed at preventing the sale of our products to minors, including schemes that highlight the minimum age at the point of sale. For example, in Germany, our business, Reemstma, through its membership of the national tobacco industry association DZV, provides retailers with a web-based training tool and printed materials to drive a zero-tolerance approach to underage sales. The online tool seeks to educate retailers on a range of youth protection issues including effective age verification, advice on dealing with difficult customers and spelling out the legal consequences of underage vaping sales. For further information see our case studies.
We are continually looking for ways to improve technology and are developing a connected version of myblu with device locking technology which has child protection features.