Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) (NYSE:MO) -- In response to the announcement
today by Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) for plans to introduce
legislation to raise the age of purchase for all tobacco products to 21,
Altria Group Chairman and CEO Howard Willard said:
"Altria strongly supports raising the legal age of purchase for all
tobacco products, including e-vapor, to 21. This is the most effective
action to reverse rising underage e-vapor usage rates. Now is the time
to move to 21 and we welcome Senator McConnell’s leadership on this
The number one way kids today get access to tobacco products is by
obtaining them from legal age purchasers. Approximately 80% of high
school students in the U.S. turn 18 years old before graduation. By
raising the minimum age to 21, no high school student will be able to
purchase tobacco products legally, adding another hurdle to help reduce
There are now 14 states that have passed or enacted tobacco 21 laws,
covering approximately 38% of the U.S. population. Recently, bipartisan
legislation was introduced in the House, which also would raise the
legal age of purchase to 21. This is an issue that has broad, bipartisan
support in both the Senate and the House.
According to FDA data, more than 20 million adult smokers in the U.S.
want access to alternative products that may offer less risk than
cigarettes. New and emerging technologies like e-vapor and heat-not-burn
tobacco products offer tremendous promise in this area. But the FDA has
made clear that the future viability of these products is in jeopardy
unless more is done to reverse the underage e-vapor use trend. Raising
the legal age to 21 is a pivotal step to addressing this issue.
Altria’s wholly-owned subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM
USA), U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC (USSTC), John Middleton Co.
(Middleton), Sherman Group Holdings, LLC and its subsidiaries (Nat
Sherman), Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. (Ste. Michelle) and Philip
Morris Capital Corporation (PMCC). Altria holds an equity investment in
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (AB InBev) and JUUL Labs, Inc. (JUUL).
The brand portfolios of Altria’s tobacco operating companies include Marlboro®,
Black & Mild®, Copenhagen® and Skoal®. Ste.
Michelle produces and markets premium wines sold under various labels,
including Chateau Ste. Michelle®, Columbia Crest®, 14
Hands® and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars™, and it imports and
markets Antinori®, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte™, Torres®
and Villa Maria Estate™ products in the United States. Trademarks
and service marks related to Altria referenced in this release are the
property of Altria or its subsidiaries or are used with permission.
More information about Altria is available at altria.com and on the
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