Statement from Aldermen Cavalier Johnson and
Michael J. Murphy
In May 2018, the Common Council passed legislation to increase the fines for those who sell tobacco to minors. Additional legislation passed by the Council prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, aligning Milwaukee’s ordinance with state law. In June 2018, the Council acted to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes on all properties where state law currently bans smoking. These legislative initiatives were sponsored by Aldermen Johnson and Murphy, with Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton and Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs co-sponsoring.
Milwaukee took these actions as the tobacco industry continues to find and implement new creative ways to entice people – especially our youth – to try nicotine, a highly addictive drug, in its various forms.
Milwaukee is ahead of the curve in recognizing and then acting on the danger that nicotine addiction poses for our teen-agers by restricting access to nicotine – whether lighting up a traditional cigarette or “vaping” a flavored e-cigarette. But there is much more that our community, particularly our retail community that sells these tobacco products, can do to follow the law.
RECAP NOTE to residents and businesses:
- Vaping is not allowed indoors (anywhere smoking is prohibited).
- Businessesareexpected to post updated signage, which can be downloaded from the city website at: https://city.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Groups/healthAuthors/DCP/Images/DCEH/Smoke-FreeBuildingwindowcling.pdf
The Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) and its partners the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance and Wisconsin Wins share what businesses need to know about e-cigarettes:
– As of July 9, 2018, vaping is no longer allowed indoors on City of Milwaukee properties or any places that prohibit cigarette smoking under state law, such as restaurants, bars, workplaces, and other businesses;
- Customers must be 18 to purchase e-cigarettes, e-juice or vaping devices. Businesses that sell to underage youth can be fined $691;
- There’s an app for that! The FDA age calculator app helps retailers comply with age restriction laws. Download this app for Apple and Android devices, and use it!
Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, Commissioner of Health, Milwaukee Health Department: “We continue to learn more about the health effects associated with E-cigarettes. As the public health authority for the City, the MHD is thankful for the continued support from Aldermen Johnson and Murphy as these actions serve to protect the public from the dangers of secondhand exposure.”
Anneke Mohr, City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance Coordinator: “Everyone deserves to breathe clean air, and in the absence of an update to our statewide smoke-free law, it’s up to our local leaders to protect Milwaukee residents from harmful toxins. The City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance is happy to serve as a resource for businesses as they adjust to the updated smoke-free law.”
Bottom line: It’s been one year since Milwaukee passed laws to protect our most vulnerable and impressionable residents from nicotine products. We call on our business community to learn about ALLthe laws concerning selling tobacco, e-cigarettes, and other nicotine-carrying products to our kids. Know the law and act now to stop enabling this addictive behavior.
The attached report by Wisconsin Wins provides excellent information on metrics concerning tobacco sales to minors in the greater Milwaukee area. For more information, click on the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance, Wisconsin Wins, and the Milwaukee Health Department.