Health Education & Promotion
No Cigs For Our Kids
What is No Cigs for Our Kids?
The No Cigs for Our Kids Campaign is a regional effort among seven counties to eliminate or reduce the sales of tobacco (traditional and vaping) to youth under the age of 18*. Each county has a Designated Youth Tobacco Use Representative (DYTUR) to implement the components of this campaign. We partner with local law enforcement and form relationships with retailers to educate and support them to be compliant with the Youth Tobacco Act.
*Federally, Tobacco21 (T21) is in effect, meaning it is illegal for retailers to sell any tobacco product to anyone under the age of 21.
Why is this a focus for the Kent County Health Department (KCHD)?
Today, 47 children in Michigan will try their first cigarette and become a daily smoker. 298,000 kids currently under 18 and alive in Michigan will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses. Many children will become addicted before they are old enough to understand the risks associated with tobacco use.
How is KCHD addressing this issue?
In partnership with state and local law enforcement along with the Lakeshore Regional Entity, KCHD participates in the tobacco sales compliance campaign, No Cigs for Our Kids. Within this campaign, we educate vendors about the harmful effect tobacco has on youth. Along with educating vendors, each year establishments throughout Kent County are randomly selected in accordance with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services guidelines to be checked for tobacco compliance with Michigan law.
We are asking for your help to keep tobacco products out of the hands of our youth. The Youth Tobacco Act states that it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18. Please be sure to check the ID of all tobacco customers who appear to be under the age of 27, and do not sell tobacco products (cigarettes, tobacco, e-cigarettes, etc.) to anyone under the age of 18. Additionally, continue to impress upon your staff the importance of checking ID to prevent underage tobacco sales.
Evidence shows that retailers who follow the laws pertaining to the sale of tobacco, have policies regarding the sale of tobacco, and conduct educational programs for their staff limit the problems related to youth access to tobacco. Here are some steps that you and your employees can take to reduce risks:
What Retailers Can Do
- Post signs warning against the sale of tobacco products to minors
- Develop a written policy for the sale of tobacco and tobacco related products
- Actively monitor staff compliance with the policy
- Reward staff for compliance with policy
- Train staff appropriately and on a regular basis
- Read the RED on vertical ID’s
What Employees Can Do
- Always ask for ID when tobacco products are requested, and read the RED on vertical ID’s
- Refuse tobacco sales when you are in doubt
- Protect yourself by knowing the Michigan tobacco laws
- Read your establishment’s tobacco policy
- Keep learning and stay informed