Underage tobacco sales are down overall in the state of Wisconsin but Door County is not helping in that number. In 2018, when minors in Wisconsin try to buy tobacco they are successful 5.8% of the time. In Door County that number is 28%. Cath Tease of re:THINK says the biggest reason minors are sold tobacco is because of under-trained and under-educated clerks. Tease thinks because many of Door County clerks are seasonal and part-time, that may be a big reason for the high percentage.
Chief Deputy Patrick McCarty of the Door County Sheriff’s Office agrees that clerks need better training in checking for ID’s when an underage customer approaches them. The county does work with the state on helping their stores comply with laws on selling to minors. He says the sheriff’s office is ready if they catch a business not complying.
Tease added it’s more important than ever that tobacco not get into kids’ hands since the tobacco companies want that customer for life.