Howard, Suamico retailers are 100% compliant with random tobacco checks

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BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Two local municipalities were 100 percent compliant with their random tobacco compliance checks this year.

Every year in Wisconsin, all 72 counties are required to do random tobacco compliance checks on any retailer that has a tobacco license.

“We go to each community and send minors in to attempt to purchase tobacco products, “said Kris Kovacic, public health educator with Brown County Public Health.

Selling tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 is illegal in Wisconsin and carries a fine of up to $500, but in the Villages of Suamico and Howard, during their random compliance checks this year, they passed with 100 percent.

In Suamico all 4 retailers passed, in Howard all 17 retailers were in compliance with state law.

“They did not sell tobacco products to our minors,” said Kovacic. “They asked for ID’s, or they told them they weren't old enough to buy tobacco products and declined the sale.”

“I am so pleased to hear that,” said Laura Nelson, Village of Suamico President, “Obviously our law enforcement works hard to keep tobacco products out of the hands of our children and our retailers are doing their part so that's really great, we applaud them.”

Brown County Public Health keeps those records and says 100 percent compliance within municipalities isn't the norm.

“It doesn't' happen very often,” said Kovacic. “At least here in Brown County, generally we have a sale or two, or more than that.”

According to a state tobacco prevention organization, Wisconsin Wins, county officials have completed 383 tobacco compliance checks so far this year. However, only 296 establishments passed which gives Wisconsin a 77 percent success rate so far this year.

Wisconsin Win also shows Brown County, Oconto County, Outagamie County, Shawano County and Waupaca County are looking at an improvement since last year, but Kovacic said there’s always room for improvement.

“There still is work to be done,” said Kovacic.