It appears that more Wisconsin kids have access to tobacco. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports a 35 percent increase from 2009 to 2012 in the number of retailers who sold tobacco to minors.
And it’s not just cigarettes, according to Melissa Horn with Health First Wisconsin. “There are a lot of different tobacco products that can be candy flavored,” Horn said. “Those little cigars can sell for just a couple bucks, versus a pack of cigarettes is six to eight dollars.”
Advocates are urging passage of legislation from Representative Gary Bies, which would close tax loopholes on tobacco products like flavored cigars. Horn says there are many responsible retailers, but it can be tough to card for some of the flavored products. “Chocolate or grape, we’ve seen chocolate chip or banana split flavors,” she said.