We believe that underage people should not consume tobacco products.
Youth smoking is a complex issue with no simple solution. British American Tobacco New Zealand is willing to work with government, retailers, parents, teachers and young people themselves to address this issue. We believe that the choice to smoke should be made by informed adults, and that tobacco products should not be sold to children. We fully support laws and regulations on a minimum age for buying tobacco products, and penalties for retailers who break the law.
We believe the most appropriate role we can take is to assist retailers in ensuring that they comply with the law. We also believe there is a need, to heighten awareness within the general community about the photo identification requirements for the sale of tobacco if a retailer is in doubt about someone’s age.
Our advice to tobacco retailers is "If in doubt of a person's age - refuse the sale''.
Retail Access Prevention programs have been a critical part of effective industry action on tackling underage smoking. These programs focus on the retail sector – seeking to prevent under 18s from buying tobacco products.
British American Tobacco New Zealand supported this retailer campaign since 2002 but in July 2012, this programme was removed from retail outlets, as required by law. Since 2014, we have provided retailers with an age verification calendar to assist them in identifying the age of customers purchasing tobacco. This calendar also reminds retailers of the acceptable forms of identification.