County tobacco retailers achieve 100% sales compliance rate

Since the end of June, the Oneida County Health Department with the help of Law Enforcement from the City of Tomahawk, Lincoln County, and the City of Merrill has been conducting tobacco compliance checks throughout Lincoln County.??¢??????¯ A total of 44 checks have been completed and no establishments sold tobacco to a minor.??¢??????¯

The Wisconsin Wins Program was introduced in 2001 across Wisconsin by local health departments in an attempt to decrease access of tobacco products to minors.??¢??????¯ It’s estimated that over 90 percent of tobacco users begin well before the legal age of 18.??¢??????¯ With 29 percent of Oneida County students reporting using tobacco, strategies to reduce this number were implemented and continue to be effective.??¢??????¯??¢??????¯ Students, 15 -17 years of age, accompanied by public health officials, visit Lincoln County tobacco license holders and attempt to purchase tobacco.??¢??????¯ If the clerk did the right thing and requested identification, they were rewarded with a small token of appreciation.??¢??????¯

Initially the program brought rates down, but some of the same businesses continued to sell to underage students.??¢??????¯ Wisconsin Wins and the state’s Health Departments encourage all clerks selling tobacco to consistently card anyone who looks under the age of 27 and to decline the sale of a tobacco product without proper verification of age.??¢??????¯

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