Underage Prevention Laws

R.J. Reynolds and the other operating companies of Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) support legislation that prevents minors from using tobacco products.

As of August 2014, all but eight states had laws prohibiting minors from purchasing tobacco:  Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.  All but eleven states had youth tobacco possession laws in place. These are Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.  More troubling, there are still six states which prohibit youth from possessing tobacco, but allow for an exemption where parents or guardians give permission for that possession: Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, and Texas. 

FDA inspections of retail establishments have shown a 95% retailer compliance rate when it comes to checking identification prior to sale, leaving kids to gain access to tobacco products through other channels—complicit adults, and adults involved in illicit trade of cigarettes, are the major source of this access.  Yet, there are still eight states which do not make it a crime to provide tobacco to kids: Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, and South Carolina.
A majority of states also have penalties associated with those possession laws. Some lawmakers believe that pen

alties in some of those states need to be strengthened. RAI’s operating companies continue to lobby for and support the passage of those bills.
To date, 47 states consider e-cigarettes an age-restricted product as related to sales or possession.