ZERO TOLERANCE: IMPERIAL TOBACCO CANADA TAKES ON YOUTH VAPING WITH BIOMETRICS
MONTREAL, Sept. 26, 2023
MONTREAL, Sept. 26, 2023 /CNW/ - Imperial Tobacco Canada (ITCAN) is taking on youth access to vaping products with a biometric driven approach (VUSE Pass) that ensures only adults have access to vaping products in its VUSE retail stores.
"We say we are committed to preventing youth vaping, and we mean it. A root cause of the problem is that kids unfortunately have access to vaping products. We've taken an important first step by making sure that we do more to control access to our own stores. Investment in new technologies help us to do it simply and reliably," said Frank Silva, President and CEO of ITCAN. "The VUSE Pass is a good example of what can be done with an innovation mindset. We are setting an example for others to follow."
The VUSE Pass allows adult VUSE customers to sign up through a one-time age verification process. Their personal information is protected using biometric verification via a palm scan. Once signed up, a scan of their palm on the sensor will allow access to a VUSE store. The VUSE Pass eliminates the possibility of fake and shared IDs. In cases where customers chose not to sign up, the store clerk continues to verify age manually.
For its innovative approach to using new technologies at retail, ITCAN has been awarded the Interactive Customer Experience (ICX) Elevate Award.
"There is a leadership vacuum when it comes to youth access to vaping products," said Mr. Silva. "Governments have all the tools necessary to stop retailers from selling to minors. They are simply not being enforced. We are committed to solving this problem. Governments need to partner and engage with companies like ours to find real solutions that make a real impact."
To reduce the incidence of youth vaping, governments must increase enforcement, implement harsher penalties for selling to minors, and roll out educational programs, all while acknowledging the importance of vaping in tobacco harm reduction.
The success of this pilot program in Toronto has led ITCAN to roll out the VUSE Pass in all its VUSE retail stores across Canada. This will help to reduce youth access to vaping products and offer a better experience for our adult nicotine customers, many of whom are choosing less harmful alternatives to smoking.
"This is one more way we are investing in solutions that reduce the harm of our products. We believe that by working together – the industry, government, the health community, and all stakeholders – we can find effective solutions that protect youth and allow adults access to a wide range of less harmful alternatives to smoking," said Mr. Silva.
ITCAN's commitment to curbing youth vaping extends to traditional retail and vape shop outlets where the company has programs in place to help retailers and their staff understand the importance of age verification, provides guidance and tools for them to do so, and monitors compliance.
Imperial Tobacco Canada is Canada's leading tobacco and vaping products company and is part of the world's most international tobacco group: BAT. BAT is a global multi-category consumer goods business, operating in over 180 markets. Our vision is to build A Better Tomorrow™ by reducing the health impact of our business through offering a greater choice of enjoyable and less risky products for our consumers.
Our strong foundations, together with our capacity for cutting-edge innovation, are a platform for us to build more sustainable products for our adult consumers, and a more sustainable business for our colleagues, shareholders, and communities.
The ICX Association Elevate Awards is an annual program that recognizes and honors organizations that have effectively leveraged technology to elevate the customer experience. The awards program aims to inspire and educate companies on how technology can be used to create exceptional customer experiences and to recognize those who are leading the way in this field.
SOURCE Imperial Tobacco Canada