Fewer clerks selling tobacco to minors
Most store clerks are not selling tobacco to juveniles—at least not in stings run by Rock County Youth2Youth in conjunction with the WI Wins Program and police departments in Janesville and Beloit.
The results of the two latest operations encouraged Debbie Fischer, director of the Youth2Youth group.
The groups plan more such operations in the effort to convince all establishments to refuse to sell tobacco to underage people, “but things are looking brighter,” Fischer said. “Our goal is to stop the illegal sales of tobacco to minors, thus hoping to make a dent in the number of youth who may become nicotine-addicted adults.”
In the latest Janesville operation—conducted in October—three clerks of 37 visited sold cigarettes to a teen younger than 18. In June, the number was five of 25, Fischer said.
That 20 percent of clerks sold to teens in June was unusual, Fisher said, “because Janesville has done a really good job” getting the word out that clerks need to check identification of potential tobacco-buyers who might be under age.
While results in Janesville improved from spring to fall, they did not in Beloit.
The Youth2Youth study in Beloit showed that four of 36 business sold cigarettes to minors in October while the number in June was three of 51.
The groups annually send training materials and letters to all businesses with tobacco licenses to keep them informed of their obligations under the law, Fischer said.