WI Wins shows illegal tobacco sales down
Beginning in June, Oneida County Health Department has been conducting Wisconsin Wins tobacco compliance checks in a six-county area that includes Florence, Forest, Price, Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas counties. Results from this year’s checks indicate that illegal tobacco sales rates have decreased across the counties.
In Lincoln County, 32 compliance checks were completed, with only one citation issued for illegal sale to a minor. That 3.13 percent failure rate is down from the 2012 failure rate of 12.9 percent.
The Wisconsin Wins Program was introduced in 2001 by the state’s Health Department in an attempt to decrease access of tobacco products to minors. It is estimated that over 90 percent of tobacco users begin well before the legal age of 18. The campaign uses positive reinforcement to reduce illegal tobacco sales to minors by encouraging retailers to educate their clerks about not selling to youth. Wisconsin Wins control efforts have been very successful in decreasing illegal tobacco sales to minors; in 2001, the illegal sale rate of tobacco products to minors was over 38 percent, and by 2012 that percentage dropped to 5.4 percent.