3,800 Young People Take Their First Cigarette Each Day

Jul 5, 2018

Credit maxpixel.net

There's a new public service announcement from the state youth anti-tobacco campaign named Wisconsin Wins. The announcement was sent to state media outlets with the idea to encourage retailers to check the ages of tobacco customers.

Maria Otterholt is the area Wisconsin Wins coordinator and community health specialist at Oneida County's Public Health Department. She says numbers of young people trying tobacco is disturbing...

"....The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention estimates that every day more than 3,800 youth younger than age 18 start smoking their first cigarette. Those numbers are crazy high and by making sure that retailers are checking those ID's they tend to stop those sales from happening and stop youth from initiating tobacco use..."

Otterholt says with the influx of visitors, local establishments can get very busy and could sell tobacco to underage youth... 

"...We really encourage all the employees to make sure they have been properly trained on how to check an ID because it can be hard to take a look at and see if that customer is 18 years old or not and it can be hard to make sure you're complying with the law...."

Fines can result for retailers not following the law. Otterholt says there is free training available on line at w(wi.tobaccochecks.org)

Site users can see online how many employees have had the training and who might still need to go through the program.