Since 1995, The We Card Program and its supporters have been working to prevent the underage sale of age restricted products like tobacco and alcohol. When We Card first started, retail compliance was a problem with underage purchase attempts successful around 40% of the time. Now -- 26 years later -- that same rate is 9.6%.
But while numerous organizations have been working to reduce retail underage access, we’ve seen a continual rise in what is called “social source” access -- and there’s no coordinated action to address this increase.
Instead, this social source problem remains unchecked, and it represents 80% to 90% of the ways underage youth obtain access to tobacco and vapor products.
One element of the social source problem is adult purchase for those underage.
We are promoting the retailer pledge to continue to address underage access at retail and prevent adult-for-underage purchase.
A working definition: Non-commercial means, such as bumming, borrowing, gifting, sharing, illicit market purchases, adult-for-underage purchases, stealing or other innovative non-commercial ways.