Campaign reminds retailers tobacco purchase age is 21

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has unveiled a new campaign educating retailers that Federal law now requires tobacco purchasers to be 21 years old.

The Federal tobacco purchasing age was raised from 18 to 21 at the beginning of 2020, and local health advocates say it was a long-overdue change. The campaign’s message to retailers is simple. “Don’t sell tobacco to anyone under 21.”

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly 9 out of 10 adults who smoke cigarettes daily first try smoking by age 18,” said Central WI Tobacco Free Alliance Coordinator, Jenna Flynn.

“This is an opportunity to delay or prevent tobacco use entirely.” In addition to the DHS’ campaign, members of the Central WI Tobacco Free Alliance are also working to educate tobacco retailers in Marathon County of the change.