(Winnebago County)- The Winnebago County Tobacco Free Coalition, in partnership with the Wisconsin Wins (WI WINS) program and local law enforcement agencies completed their first round of tobacco compliance checks. So far this year, Winnebago County has a non-compliance rate of 27%, with 41 of 151 retailers selling tobacco illegally to minors. In 2007, Winnebago County had a non-compliance rate of 10% non-compliance (32 sales of 302 attempts).
Emily Dieringer, Winnebago County Tobacco Free Coalition Coordinator and Health Educator, states, "It’s very disturbing to see that in Winnebago County it is way too easy for youth to access tobacco products. More education on the laws and how to properly check a driver’s license is needed." During the remainder of the year, the Coalition will strengthen its efforts to educate retailers and their in hopes to increase the number of businesses that deny the sale of tobacco to minors.
Some municipalities have a very low number of sales:
- Winneconne, 0 of 7 (0%)
- Omro 1 of 6 (16%)
- Menasha 2 of 15 (13%)
- Town of Menasha, 2 of 17 (12%).
WI WINS is a proven tobacco prevention and control effort sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to reduce illegal sales and access to tobacco by minors. Each year WI WINS conducts compliance checks throughout the state in efforts to reduce illegal tobacco sales to minors and prevent youth tobacco use. The program utilizes trained 15-17 year-olds under adult supervision to attempt to purchase tobacco from local tobacco retailers. On average, the state has seen a steady decline in non-compliance rates since the program’s inception in 2001.For more information visit http://www.wiwins.com/.