This past summer the Northwoods Tobacco-Free Coalition (NWTFC) conducted tobacco compliance checks throughout Lincoln County. A total of 29 random checks were completed for any retailer in the county that has a tobacco license and 4 of these establishments sold tobacco to a minor. The current illegal sale rate of 13.8% is up from last year’s illegal sale rate of 0%. Judy Sargent R.N., Lincoln County WI WINS Coordinator states “We are disappointed to see the rate increase this year. There is work to be done to achieve a 0% sale rate again. One of the main issues for many store clerks this year was not neglect to check identification, but the misreading of the ID.” During the course of the summer, a majority of clerks asked to see a youth’s ID, but some unfortunately misread the ID and still sold the tobacco product.
Wisconsin Wins and the Lincoln County Health Department encourage all clerks selling tobacco to consistently card anyone who looks under the age of 27 and to refuse the sale of a tobacco product without proper verification of age. If your establishment would like more information on how to properly train employees to read IDs and avoid potential fines please visit www.smokecheck.org.
This site offers a free, online training program for tobacco retailers and their employees; it even helps clerks identify a quick and easy way to properly read identifications. As seen in the image to the right, there is a yellow band that states “UNDER 18 UNTIL” and then a birth-date is listed. Simply look at this yellow band and you’ll know if someone is under 18 or not.
By refusing tobacco sales to minors we can help improve the health of our youth and improve our community’s future. For additional information on the WI WINS program contact Judy Sargent, R.N. at 715-539-1377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.