On Dec. 20, 2019, the federal government raised the federal minimum age of the sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes/e-liquids to anyone under age 21.

The Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition, which includes the counties of Marathon, Portage and Wood, works in cooperation with Wisconsin WINS, a program of the State of Wisconsin, which provides oversight and education about tobacco products.

This includes unannounced inspections at tobacco retail outlets, community outreach and education, and free online education for retailers and their employees. Retailers throughout Wisconsin can go to www.wiwins.org for study guides and a quiz leading to a certificate of completion. Also, www.WITobaccoCheck.org helps retailers avoid license suspensions and fines.