Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free
Nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood. Tobacco contains nicotine, a highly addictive drug that causes many young people to progress from smoking occasionally to smoking every day. Prevention is critical. If young people don’t start using tobacco by age 26, they almost certainly will never start.
Wisconsin reduced state high school cigarette smoking rates from 33% in 2000 to 8.1% in 2016, and middle school cigarette smoking rates from 12% in 2000 to 1.3% in 2016. In addition, tobacco sales to Wisconsin minors have decreased from 33.7% in 2001 to 5.8% today.
There's help for teens to quit
Teens can text VAPEFREE to 873373 for free help.
Keeping Tobacco Out of the Hands of Youth
The Wisconsin Wins program uses an effective mix of education and oversight to keep kids away from tobacco products by:
- Conducting unannounced inspections at local tobacco retail outlets to track retailer compliance with Wisconsin’s tobacco sales laws. See the local youth access rate in your county at wiwins.org.
- Providing WITobaccoCheck.org, a free training and educational resources that help retailers understand how to comply with the law. Learn more about free online training for retailers at WITobaccoCheck.org.
- Engaging in community outreach and education to communicate the importance of preventing youth access to tobacco.
For more information, contact Nancy Michaud, Youth Access Program Coordinator, at 608-266-0181.
FACT, Wisconsin’s youth tobacco prevention movement empowers over 3,000 teen members in grades 7-12 in about 30 groups throughout the state to spread the truth about tobacco. FACT members lead advocacy initiatives including peer-to-peer education, media outreach, and meeting with state and local leaders. Their efforts have helped reduce youth tobacco use and have played an integral part in changing community policies on secondhand smoke and retail sales to youth. The movement is managed by the American Lung Association and is designed to reduce the burden of tobacco in Wisconsin.
Tobacco Prevention in Schools
Through collaborations with the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, the American Lung Association and other partners, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) works with schools in Wisconsin to enhance programs in a number of areas within tobacco control.
The DPI conducts trainings and workshops statewide, and is a critically important partner in surveying youth tobacco use trends. For more information, visit DPI.
Helping Young People Quit Smoking
Most young smokers want to quit using tobacco, but are unable to succeed on their own. The good news is that they don't have to quit alone. Help is available in different formats.
- Teens ready to quit e-cigarettes can text VAPEFREE to 873373 for free help.
- Not On Tobacco (N-O-T) is a state-of-the-science, school-based program that provides assistance to teens who wish to quit using tobacco. The program covers the entire quitting process, including the prevention of relapses. For more information on N-O-T, contact Nick Surita at the American Lung Association of Wisconsin.