Wis. Wins Project About To Restart Tobacco Compliance Checks

Mar 7, 2019

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The program designed to stop retailers from selling tobacco to underage purchasers is getting ready to check outlets again.

Wisconsin Wins helps reduce tobacco’s impact by keeping these products out of kids’ hands.

Program coordinator Maria Otterholt of Oneida County Public Health says the program has been around since 2002...

"...We're just letting Oneida county know here that we're going to start some compliance checks to make sure retailers aren't selling tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18....."

She says about one out of 10 retailers has sold to underage buyers...

"Our percentage in 2018 was slightly more than 2017. We're right at 11.5 percent for Oneida county..."

Maria Otterholt hopes to get the message out...

"It involves a lot of education to retailers. Letting them know we are going out, we are doing these compliance checks. Remind them of the state statutes and what the law really means and why it is important to not sell nicotine or tobacco products to minors..."

Free online training for retailers is available .

At the website, retailers and their employees can learn about Wisconsin tobacco sales laws. They can also get tips for avoiding underage sales. The site includes study guides and a quiz for employees. In 2018, about 6,700 retail employees received training through the site. We have a link here.