Direct to Consumer Safeguards
Mailing List Safeguards at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT) restricts its mailing list, communicating only to age-verified adult smokers 21 years of age or older who have certified they want to receive materials from us through the mail. We do not buy or rent lists that were developed for other purposes (e.g., magazine-subscriber lists). We believe that having controls on direct mail is vital because we sell an age-restricted product which causes disease. We don’t want to send direct-mail materials to youth, non-smokers or adult smokers who do not wish to receive mail from us. No one is added to our mailing list unless they ask to be and they can successfully pass through a system of eligibility controls.
First, anyone asking to be added to our mailing list must certify that he or she is a smoker 21 years of age or older who wishes to receive cigarette-marketing materials through the mail. The person must provide their name, address and date of birth. To reinforce to smokers the seriousness of certification, the form itself includes a warning that giving false information in order to accept cigarette-marketing materials through the mail may constitute a violation of the law.
Second, RJRT requires verification of certified adult smokers’ ages. We do this in various ways:
- Some smokers mail us their adult-smoker certifications and a photocopy of their valid, government-issued identification. We only add a smoker to our mailing list if he or she is 21 years of age or older based on the date of birth on his or her identification.
- If an adult smoker meets face-to-face with one of our field marketing representatives and wishes to be added to RJRT’s mailing list, the Company requires that the individual certify that he or she is a smoker 21 years of age or older. The adult smoker must also present his or her valid, government-issued identification, such as driver’s license, which is checked to ensure the smoker is 21 years of age or older. A digital image of the certification and identification is retained by RJRT.
- If a smoker has asked to be added to our mailing list, but we do not have a copy of his or her valid, government-issued identification, the smoker’s information is checked against third-party sources for the sole purpose of age verification. These vendors provide reliable demographic information on consumers (based on records such as drivers’ licenses and credit reports). The certified smokers’ names and addresses are compared with the third party vendors’ databases to verify that the certified smokers are 21 years of age or older. A certified smoker is added to our mailing list only if age verification is obtained. If an individual is determined to be under 21 in their state of residence, RJRT immediately rejects that person.
Certified adult smokers are not added to our mailing list unless and until we have verified that they are 21 years of age or older. We do not add anyone to our mailing list that is determined to be underage.
We recognize that no system is perfect, and there is the possibility that someone could be added to our database in error. Anyone who feels they have been added to our database in error should contact us, and we will remove their information immediately. We make it easy for anyone to be removed from our mailing list. Our mailings clearly identify that the material is coming from a tobacco company and that it is restricted to smokers who are 21 years of age or older. Our mailings always include easy instructions for removing the name from our mailing list. If a smoker wants to be taken off our mailing list, we want to find out promptly and we act on the request immediately.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has put in place safeguards to strictly control mailings of brand information and offers. Our program includes policies and procedures, as well as quality-control checks and data maintenance. Our system of safeguards was built, and is maintained, to restrict our mailing list to age 21+ smokers who have certified that they want to receive our brand communications.