Tobacco Industry in the spotlight: Increased Protection of Minors thanks to Mystery Shopping

In a time when lifestyles and consumer habits are constantly evolving, the diversity of products like e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters is gaining significance. Companies and retailers face the challenge of ensuring that these products are only sold to adults and that they are strictly complying with laws that prohibit access for minors.

Since the marketing of tobacco and nicotine products to young people is prohibited by law, sales outlets are obliged to take preventative measures. This initiative, known as "Youth Access Prevention Safeguarding" (YAPS), aims not only to protect young people but also ensures the consistent enforcement of appropriate penalties in case of violations.

Additionally, in recent years, distribution has increasingly expanded to e-commerce platforms (online sales) and direct sales. As a result, numerous tobacco companies are developing targeted compliance strategies and increasing their investment in social programmes and community projects.

In this article, we take a closer look at the significance of YAPS in the tobacco industry and explore how Mystery Shopping programmes can strengthen the protection of minors.


The necessity for youth protection

The demands on youth protection in the tobacco industry are now more urgent than ever. Growing social pressure from health organisations, anti-tobacco groups and ever stricter regulations are forcing tobacco companies to take decisive and effective protective measures. Public expectations emphasise the social responsibility of these large corporations.

In many countries, the legal minimum age for the purchase of tobacco products has already been raised to 18 or even 21 in order to protect young people from the harmful effects of smoking. This poses a challenge for the tobacco industry to ensure strict compliance with these age restrictions.


The advantages of targeted mystery shopping

To ensure accountability and compliance with the above regulations, ISC-CX offers YAPS measurements across all direct and indirect retail channels in the form of a mystery shopping programme. 

This proven method makes it possible to objectively review the effectiveness of youth protection measures. The mystery shoppers can provide valuable insights into the actual implementation of the youth protection guidelines. If violations of the age restrictions are identified, measures can be taken immediately to rectify them.

The programme provides valuable insights into the marketing, availability and access of tobacco or nicotine to minors.

Mystery shopping is not only a tool for identifying breaches, it also creates awareness among sales staff and promotes compliance. This continuously improves the impact of youth protection measures.


YAPS measurements with ISC-CX

Overall, mystery shopping is an essential tool to improve youth protection in the tobacco industry and guarantee that tobacco products are only sold to appropriate adults. It enables the industry to actively contribute to reducing the harmful effects of tobacco consumption on young people while meeting social expectations and legal requirements. 

This programme can also be used in cases where the products are delivered via third parties (e.g. couriers).

ISC-CX has broad experience in developing solutions and conducting YAPS measurements at both a global and local level, collecting data using secure technology and delivering results in the form of actionable insights.

Our global infrastructure and network of over 1,000,000 service testers enable the professional implementation of our customer experience programmes without the need for subcontractors.


Would you also like to improve youth protection measures in your tobacco industry and strengthen your company's brand ethics at the same time? 

Contact us today to learn more about our YAPS measurements and how we can work together to help reduce youth tobacco use. Your commitment to youth protection can make a significant difference.

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