Underage Tobacco Use Prevention

Kids should not smoke or use any tobacco product.
n According

to several studies, underage tobacco use has declined since the mid-1990s, and underage smoking rates are at the lowest levels in a generation. Underage access to tobacco in retail stores also has declined since the mid-1990s. Despite this progress, there is more to be done. Underage tobacco use is a difficult issue, and there is not a simple solution.
PAST MONTH TOBACCO USE AMONG YOUTH AGED 12-17: 2002-2009 (2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health)*
20% 15% 10% 5% 0
05 07 02 03 04 06 08 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 09

n n

RETAILER VIOLATION RATE (National Weighted Average - FFY 2009 Annual Synar Report)**

50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Tobacco Products



Smokeless Tobacco

Altria’s tobacco companies support organizations and programs seeking to help reduce underage tobacco use.


Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company and John Middleton – supported regulation of tobacco by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. This law includes a number of provisions designed to address underage use of tobacco products. The companies support state underage access prevention laws that complement FDA regulation. For example, they support laws that prohibit customers from purchasing tobacco products for minors or distributing tobacco products to minors.

Altria’s tobacco companies are committed to responsibly marketing their products.



They focus their marketing efforts on direct communications, websites and activities that involve self-imposed minimum-age requirements and age verification procedures, as well as advertisements at retail where adult tobacco consumers make their purchasing decisions. They offer retail programs with requirements and financial incentives for participating retailers to display their products out of reach of customers, to sell their products only in clerk-assisted transactions and to place their signage in limited locations. They do not pay for or endorse any product placement. Our tobacco companies decline all requests to use, display or even reference their companies’ brands in movies, television shows or other public entertainment media.

Philip Morris USA


U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company


John Middleton


Ste. Michelle Wine Estates


Philip Morris Capital Corporation

December 2010


Altria’s tobacco companies have spent over $2.3 billion on a variety of programs since 1998.
We Card ® ParentFurther Big Brothers Big Sisters

They support We Card®, which trains and educates retailers and provides them with resources to help prevent underage tobacco sales, including store signs, age verification calendars and tip sheets on how to spot fake IDs.

They connect parents to tools and resources designed to help them raise kids who do not use tobacco, such as the Search Institute’s ParentFurther website, www. parentfurther.com.

They support organizations, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, that connect kids with caring adults, enhance community resources for kids and help kids develop confidence and skills to avoid risky behaviors, like using tobacco.

There are many funding sources available to states and communities for underage tobacco prevention.

In April 2010, states received $6.4 billion from tobacco companies in annual tobacco settlement agreement payments1. Since 1997, PM USA alone has paid more than $46 billion to the states. Unfortunately, states use this revenue for a variety of purposes unrelated to health programs or tobacco prevention, and most fall short of the spending levels recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for tobacco prevention programs. Recently, additional tobacco prevention funds became available to states and communities from the February 2009 Federal Stimulus bill and the new health care law.



We encourage states to devote these available funds to effective programs that prevent underage tobacco use.

** Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2010). Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings (Office of Applied Studies, NSDUH Series H-38A, HHS Publication No. SMA 10-4586 Findings). Rockville, MD. ** National weighted average retailer violation rates. Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). FFY 2009 Annual Synar Reports: Youth Tobacco Sales. Rockville, MD. Retrieved from http://prevention.samhsa.gov/tobacco/SynarReportFY2009.pdf on June 4, 2010. 1. The Finance Project. “Financing and Sustaining Youth Programs. 2010 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) Payment Highlights.” Retrieved on August 9, 2010, from http://www.financeproject.org/publications/2010MSAHighlights.pdf.

Produced by Altria Client Services for use with external stakeholders. To learn more, please visit altria.com.

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