Tobacco use takes nearly 8,000 lives each year and costs Wisconsin $4.5 billion annually in health care expenses in lost productivity. However, Wisconsin has made great strides in decreasing youth tobacco use. In 2000, one-third of the state’s high school students regularly smoked. Today, that number stands at 13.1 percent.
Limiting underage sales of tobacco products has played a key role in decreasing youth smoking in Wisconsin. The Northwoods Tobacco-Free Coalition, in partnership with Wisconsin Wins, conducts compliance checks in Forest, Florence, Lincoln, Oneida, Price and Vilas counties. Sales to minors have decreased 80 percent since 2001 as a result of the Wisconsin Wins program.
For more information about the Wisconsin Wins program, visit wiwins.org.