In 2018, tobacco age compliance checks were conducted at 40 Barron County stores that sell tobacco or nicotine products. Thirty-two of the 40 Barron County stores successfully checked IDs and refused the sale of tobacco to underage youth. This unfortunately means that sales were made at eight establishments, raising our sales rates to minors from 4% in 2017 to 20% in 2018.
5th Street Saloon, Dollar General, Family Dollar & Gordy’s in Barron; Kwik Trip in Chetek, Big Smitty’s On Main in Rice Lake & Austad’s Super Valu & Brothers Liquor & Country Mart in Turtle Lake all made sales to underage youth during the 2018 WI WINS checks.
Barron County Department of Health & Human services conducts ongoing tobacco compliance checks through the Wisconsin Wins Program in accordance with Wisconsin law that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors. Trained youth, try to purchase tobacco products during the checks. Checks are conducted to ensure that store employees request and verify the IDs of youth attempting to buy tobacco products and that they refuse sales to persons under age 18.
WI WINS uses a reward and education system to decrease tobacco sales to youth. Store employees who do not sell tobacco to minors receive a $5 reward. Employees and store owners who do sell tobacco to youth receive education and access to free online training at Smokecheck.org. If the store has a history of selling tobacco to youth they may be issued a citation.
“We want our retailers and community to do the right thing and not sell or give tobacco or nicotine to our kids” states Laura Sauve, Health Officer. “Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs we see- ask anyone trying to quit- and use often leads to many health problems. In order to protect the health of our communities we need to prevent our kids from being able to access the products and we need our tobacco retailers to help stop that youth access.”
We commend the following establishments in Barron County who followed the law, required identification, and refused the sale of tobacco to minors during the 2018 tobacco compliance checks:
- Almena: Holiday
- Barron: Barron Travel Plaza (Cenex), Mega Co-op, Holiday, Kwik Trip & Warren G’s
- Chetek: Bridge Stop, Family Dollar, Gordy’s, Keg N’ Kork & Osbow Group LLC (BP)
- Rice Lake: Azara Smoke & Vape, Badger Vapes, Bob & Steve’s BP Amoco, Lakeland Cooperative (Cenex Dr.), Lakeland Cooperative (Macauley Ave.), Dollar General, Kwik Trip (Decker Dr.), Kwik Trip (Knapp St.), Kwik Trip (South Main), Marketplace Foods, Roll-N-Go, Stump Lake Liquor, Village Dell & Wine, Walgreens & Walmart
- Turtle Lake: Family Dollar, Holiday, Hotel Bar & Grill, Cenex, Spare Time Bowl & The Liquor Store.
Retail clerks play a key role in decreasing youth access to tobacco. Clerks are the first line of defense in preventing youth access to tobacco products. When kids have a hard time getting tobacco, they use less. The less tobacco our kids use, the more Wisconsin Wins.