After the most recent series of compliance checks, fewer businesses in Oneida and Vilas counties illegally sold tobacco to minors.
The Northwoods Tobacco-Free Coalition has youth go into area establishments and try to purchase tobacco. The wide majority of retailers don't sell to the minor, but a few do.
Tammi Boers of Vilas County Public Health says the number of Vilas county violations dropped...
"....we had only 3 retailers sell this year compared to the past few years where we had up to 8 retailers sell. We do random checks throughout the county for any establishment that has a tobacco license. We have student interns go in and see if the clerks at the gas stations or convenience stores are checking ID's and if they sell to minors....."
The Vilas county rate dropped to 10 percent. In previous years, the illegal sales rate was as high as 22 percent. In Oneida County, a total of 45 random checks were completed this summer, with five stores selling to minors, leaving a rate of 11 percent, down one percent from one year ago. Boers says the effort is to not have youth start smoking. She says the majority of adult smokers began as young tobacco users.
Boeers says there is help for retailers to know the law...
"...if retailers do need more education to teach their clerks...the Wisconsin Wins website does have training. It's witobaccochecks. org That's where owners of establishments can go to train their clerks...."
That training is free.