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Illegal Tobacco Sales To Youth Grow In Northwoods


There has been a rise in the number of underage youth buying tobacco in the Northwoods.

The state Department of Health Services contracts with local partners to conduct investigations to establish retailer compliance with the law prohibiting tobacco sales to minors.

Maria Skubal from the Oneida County Health Department says recent figures show an uptick in underage tobacco sales in most Northwoods counties...

".....so this year Oneida county had an illegal sales rate of 17.4 percent, Vilas county had an illegal sales rate of 12.2, Forest county had a rate of 15 percent, Price county had one of 14.3 percent..."

Lincoln county had no illegal tobacco sales to youth during the reporting period. The numbers in most cases show an increase in sales from retailers to underage youth.

Skubal says they will be increasing their efforts to educate retailers about illegal tobacco sales...

".... where we hold a training and educate retailers on the proper ways to check ID's, make sure they check to see how old the minor is and if they are under 18 to not sell to them and this year we didn't have that training. We don't know if our increase was attributed to that.."

Oneida county acts as the fiscal agent for a grant that runs the state Wisconsin Wins program for the Northwoods counties mentioned.

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