Statement of Alderman Michael J. Murphy
July 23, 2019
Tomorrow (Wednesday, July 24), the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network’s (WAATPN) Single Cigarette Subcommittee will launch its “No Singles/No Loosies” campaign aimed at increasing awareness about the problems associated with the illegal sale of single cigarettes (cigarettes out of the pack) in the City of Milwaukee.
I am a staunch supporter of this campaign and have been working diligently to eliminate access to tobacco and e-cigarettes among young people.
Thanks to successful legislation I sponsored, last year the city increased the fine for retailers caught selling single cigarettes (“loosies”) to $691. The fine for selling single cigarettes had been $181 for a first offense and $321 for second and subsequent offenses.
The No Singles/No Loosies subcommittee is chaired by the American Cancer Society and Hayat Pharmacy, and includes community members and retailers from across the city. Together, they are working together to end the sale of single cigarettes in Milwaukee. The sale of single cigarettes are a contributor to the state’s high smoking rate for African-Americans, which is nearly double that of the general population, and also increases the chances that young people can afford and illegally purchase cigarettes.
The WAATPN is working to eliminate tobacco related health disparities and address unequal marketing practices of corporate tobacco companies in the central city, and I applaud WAATPN’s leadership in ensuring the safety and health of our community, especially youth under 18 who are at increased risk of obtaining tobacco products sold in this illegal manner.