Violations for selling tobacco to minors in the Northwoods has taken a marked decrease.
The Oneida County Health Department administers tobacco law compliance checks in a six county northern region.
Tobacco Coordinator Niki Kostrova says the downward trend from 2012 shows education is working...
"...last year we did have some higher numbers because we had a lack of education going on about how to properly read an identification card. This year they did a lot of education to retailers...they held some retailer trainings on how to properly card people purchasing tobacco...."
She says they're working toward a specific goal...
"...our goal is to have zero illegal sales. And while we would love to see that at some point. Our goal is always if someone does sell the goal is provide that education so it doesn't happen again...."
224 compliance checks were held in Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Florence, Lincoln and Price counties.
Vilas county had seven citations issued for sale of tobacco to minors, Oneida had six, Price county two, and one citation each in Forest and Lincoln counties. There were no citations in Florence county.
The Wisconsin Wins Program began in 2001 to decrease access of tobacco products to minors. In 2001, the illegal sale rate to minors was over 38 percent, and by 2012 that percentage dropped to 5.4 percent. It is estimated that over 90 percent of tobacco users begin before age 18.