Decline attributed to state youth prevention efforts
Madison – Governor Jim Doyle today announced that tobacco sales to Wisconsin minors decreased significantly this year. The state’s 2010 Synar sales compliance survey, which determines the number of retail outlets
selling tobacco illegally to minors, shows the noncompliance rate dropped
to 4.7 percent, down from 5.7 percent in 2009.
“In Wisconsin, we are working hard to protect our kids from tobacco,” Governor Doyle said. “This year’s compliance survey is direct evidence that funding a comprehensive tobacco prevention program pays off. Credit also goes to retailers for helping to keep tobacco out of the hands of minors.”
The annual Synar survey randomly selects retail outlets from across the state to determine a reliable estimate of the rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors. This is the eighth straight year the illegal sales rate fell below the Federal target rate of 20 percent. Failure to meet this target rate would have jeopardized 40 percent of the state’s federal block grant funds for substance abuse prevention and treatment – approximately $10 million.
To meet federal goals, the state’s “Wisconsin Wins” program works with local partners, including health departments and other local agencies to conduct investigations to determine retailer compliance. The program, run by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Tobacco Prevention and Control program, also provides free online retailer training for Wisconsin businesses and raises public and media awareness.
“Limiting youth access to tobacco products means fewer teen smokers and lower healthcare costs for the state,” said Karen Timberlake, Department of Health Services Secretary. “We’re very pleased with these results and strongly encourage ongoing support for these efforts.”
For more information on Wisconsin’s comprehensive tobacco control program: