Working on the front line
One of BAT’s key principles is that tobacco products are only for adult consumers, and such principle on how to determine the “adult”, or legitimate age to be entitled to smoke must also be in strict compliance with laws of any jurisdiction where we operate our business. According to laws of Vietnam, a person of 18 years old or more is entitled to smoke. Therefore, we fully support activities preventing youth under 18 years old from smoking.
British American Tobacco strongly believes that smoking is only for informed adults who are aware of risks of smoking. Therefore, being a responsible tobacco company, we always make every effort to prevent and reduce smoking of youth. British American Tobacco in Vietnam absolutely supports and always complies with prevailing laws, and regulations of Vietnam prohibiting the trading of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18. We also believe that penalties for breaking such laws must be tough enough to discourage trading to underage buyers.
Since 2008, British American Tobacco in Vietnam has been coordinating with Vinataba for a programme to prevent access to tobacco products by young people under 18. The programme aims to prevent teenagers under 18 from buying cigarettes by raising retailers’ awareness. The programme used several tools such as training videos, POSM and leaflets to inform retailers about regulations of selling tobacco products to anyone under 18 as well as provide them effective solutions for not selling cigarettes to minors.
In 2013, British American Tobacco coordinated with its distribution partners in Vietnam to launch a propagandizing programme called “Youth Smoking Prevention” at 500 sales points in four major cities including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang and Haiphong. The programme aimed at raising retailers’ awareness of the laws against selling tobacco products to anyone under 18 and penalties for such violations. At those sales points, retailers were given with documents about legal provisions prohibiting tobacco trading to minors, banderols, leaflets and posters saying “NO” to tobacco sales to minors. This is a global programme of the BAT Group applied in all markets where BAT operates, and is part of BAT’s policy of Corporate Social Responsibility.
In addition, every year BAT reinforces the communication of minimum age laws for tobacco purchase towards consumers & retailers. In our latest campaign in Dec 2016, we conducted a direct communication with more than 43,000 retailers in 02 big cities of Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh city. The “Youth smoking prevention” posters were also deployed at 43,3000 sales points for educating retailers that it is illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone under 18.
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