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County health educator supports higher tobacco age in Wisconsin

Brad Williams



May I see your ID? 

That question could be a key to reducing the amount of vaping and tobacco use by teenagers in Wisconsin. 

An Assembly committee has heard testimony on a plan to raise the purchase age for tobacco and nicotine products to 21. 

Judi Zabel of the La Crosse County health department says one way to crack down on smoking by young people is to get stores to be less willing to sell tobacco to underage customers.

“So those clerks are educated, the business owners are educated how to appropriately look for an ID,” said Zabel. “It’s the first step in a number of steps that help prevent access.”    

La Crosse Rep. Jill Billings attended that Assembly hearing and suggested putting restrictions on how vaping products are sold or packaged to appeal to children.

Backers of the bill believe that checking IDs of tobacco buyers would make vaping less appealing among teenagers.    

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