Report shows underage tobacco sales at record low

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- Reducing kid’s access to tobacco is something states have been working to do for years.

A report released Tuesday shows the State of Wisconsin is making big strides in keeping cigarettes out of the hands of minors.

Parents and teens we talked to say they are happy more people are choosing to be smoke free but they say there is still more work to be done.

“A couple of my friends said if you start smoking you'll be more popular in high school i just said it was stupid it just makes you look dumb, kills brain cells,” 20 year old Jacob Noblitt said.

For Noblitt, lighting up never really had an appeal.

“I can’t smoke and I can’t stand cigarette smoke because I have asthma, a lot of my friends smoke so I just don't hang out with those kinds of people,” Noblitt said.

At age 20, Noblitt says even though he could legally buy a pack of cigarettes at a store, he hasn't. He says the appeal wasn’t there when he was under age either.

New statistics out Tuesday by the government show the sale of tobacco to minors in Wisconsin were at an all-time low of about 4.4%. Nearly 5% lower than the national average. Those numbers are based off of tobacco compliance checks held state and nationwide.

“I think the access is about the same if you want the cigarettes you'll find a way to get them I think it's better education and people seeing what it does to your health when you do smoke,” Jacob’s mother Diane said.

For Jacob’s mom, her sons decision came as a relief. She says she's noticed a decrease in the number of teens smoking in the past decade and believes better education and less advertising has helped.

“There is a lot less peer pressure with a large group smoking there are a lot less people trying to get kids his age to smoke,” Noblitt said.

“I think cigarettes have kind of gone out of style since the 90s and the 80s and I think it’s not very cool to smoke anymore,” 20 year old Sam Larson said.

The latest numbers from the federal government show about 14% of minors say they buy their own cigarettes from stores, that's down 3% from a decade ago.

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