Letter: Tobacco compliance checks play valuable role

To the editor:

On behalf of Community Action for Healthy Living, we would like to thank the many clerks and retailers in Shawano County for keeping tobacco out of the hands of youth. Over the past couple of months, youth volunteers and have conducted tobacco compliance checks in hopes to see retailers are not selling tobacco to minors and are checking IDs.

Selling tobacco products to minors can have serious consequences for retailers. Wisconsin State Statute 134.66 prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 and also requires training for staff that sells tobacco products. Retailers who sell to minors can receive fines as high as $500 for selling to a minor. Both retailers and any employees who make illegal sales are subject to fines.

Wisconsin Wins is a program of the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program that provides training, media and community outreach, and education to help retailers avoid hefty fines. To learn more about Wisconsin Wins go to https://witobaccocheck.org.

Free tobacco sales training and certification is available for retailers at https://witobaccocheck.org/Exam/Start, an online test developed by the Wisconsin Wins program.

As we continue to perform compliance checks, we will continue to educate clerks and retailers about the importance of keeping tobacco out of the hands of youth. Look for the final 2017 rates coming in January. For now, when you are out in your community and see a cashier check an ID, thank them for performing their job and keeping our children safe.

Wendy Vander Zanden,

Executive Director,

Community Action for Healthy Living