Kids should not smoke or use tobacco products. As manufacturers of products intended for adults, Altria Group's tobacco companies have an important role to play in preventing underage tobacco use.
We strongly support programs and legislation to prevent underage tobacco use, including the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA). All states prohibit underage sale of cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco products. We actively advocated for such laws and continue to support legislation that would extend this restriction to the sale of e-vapor and tobacco-derived nicotine products.
The FSPTCA provided the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, and the responsibility to reduce underage tobacco use. On May 10, 2016, the FDA published a Final Rule to extend the Agency's authority to regulate other tobacco products, including cigars, e-vapor products, and other products containing tobacco-derived nicotine. Thoughtfully implementing this regulation could help resolve many of the complex issues that surround tobacco products and provide significant benefits to adult consumers by:
- establishing a common set of high standards for all tobacco manufacturers and importers doing business in the United States; and
- creating clear principles for accurate, science- and evidence-based communications about tobacco products to consumers.
The FDA has taken steps designed to prevent underage access to tobacco products. For example, FDA:
- prohibited "self-service" displays of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, except in age-restricted facilities;
- established a federal minimum age of 18 for the sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products; and
- required retailers to obtain identification for any consumer under 27 years of age.
At the state level, Altria’s tobacco companies support enactment of laws to prevent underage access that complement FDA authority. Such state legislation would:
- prohibit anyone from purchasing tobacco products for, or distributing tobacco products to, a minor;
- prohibit the purchase or possession of tobacco products by minors or the use of false identification by a minor during an attempt to purchase tobacco products; and
- require minimum-age-to-purchase signs at retail stores and require valid proof of age for all tobacco product purchases.
Altria's tobacco operating companies support three websites: