Reynolds American Signs On as Sponsor of Digital Age-Verification Solution

TruAge is in pilot tests in three select markets and is expected to see a wider rollout later this year.
Logos for Reynolds American and TruAge

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Another manufacturer of age-restricted products is throwing its support behind a new digital age-verification solution.

Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) partnered with NACS and Conexxus to sponsor TruAge, joining other companies such as Altria Group Distribution, Juul Labs, Anheuser-Busch and Molson Coors Beverage Co.

"Reynolds has demonstrated — and continues to demonstrate — that tobacco and nicotine products can be marketed responsibly to adult consumers while limiting youth exposure to our products and product marketing," said Frank Silva, the company's senior vice president of activation and trade marketing. "Today's partnership with TruAge will help further our commitment to keep youth tobacco prevention at the forefront of our efforts."

TruAge also is supported by more than 130 retail companies that represent 22,000-plus convenience stores in the United States, plus four industry point-of-sale providers. It is currently in pilot tests in three select markets and is expected to see wider rollout later in 2022.

"It is clear that these companies share our vision of developing a future-proof solution to keep age-restricted products out of the hands of minors. Ninety percent of U.S. consumers say they support a nationwide standard for age-verification, and this growing list of brands committed to TruAge support what our customers tell us," said NACS President and CEO Henry Armour. "We are excited to add Reynolds American as a founding sponsor and welcome others to join us and these companies in this national effort."

Along with the sponsorship, Shay Mustafa, RAI's senior vice president of business communications and sustainability, will serve on the TruAge governance board.

"We have long taken a comprehensive approach to industry leadership on the issue of youth access to tobacco products, leading corporate, education, and legislative initiatives to reduce youth access," Mustafa said. "Today's announcement is another proof point of our continued commitment to operate responsibly as we transform to reduce the health impact of our business, delivering 'A Better Tomorrow.'"

Developed by NACS and its standards-setting partner Conexxus, TruAge makes the traditional carding experience more convenient and accurate in verifying a customer's age when purchasing age-restricted products, and at the same time makes identity theft difficult. One-time-use tokens are used to share only the most important elements to confirm the purchaser is of legal age, which also protects the user's privacy.

Winston-Salem-based RAI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the BAT Group, and the U.S. parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc., American Snuff Co. LLC, R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. and Modoral Brands Inc.