No Cigs for Our Kids
The No Cigs for Our Kids Campaign is a partnership of Allegan, Berrien, Muskegon and Ottawa Counties to eliminate sales of tobacco to youth under the age of 18.
Youth Smoking Statistics
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Michigan:
- 11.8% of Michigan high school students smoke.
- 9,800 kids in Michigan become new daily smokers each year.
- Kids in Michigan buy or smoke 19.4 million packs of cigarettes each year.
- Annual health care costs in Michigan caused directly from smoking are over $4.5 billion dollars.
Every day, more than 3,000 kids in the United States will try smoking their first cigarette. About one third of those children will eventually die prematurely from a smoking related disease. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death; exposure to secondhand smoke is the second leading preventable cause of death.
The No Cigs For Our Kids campaign started in 2004 with the goal of reducing youth access to tobacco. The campaign focuses on educating the retailers on the importance of compliance with the Youth Tobacco Act. The campaign has been an ongoing joint effort with local law enforcement to combat the problem of local vendors selling tobacco to our kids. Local sting operations along with vendor educations are completed on a regular basis in Berrien County, to bring awareness to retailers on the sales of tobacco to minors. Since 2004, the No Cigs For Our Kids Campaign has demonstrated a statistically significant change in the following areas: fewer youth inspectors are able to purchase tobacco, clerks are more likely to ask for identification, and stores are more likely to place tobacco products behind the counter and to post the Youth Tobacco Act signage.
Current Vendor Violations
Parents are encouraged to review this list of retailers who have violated the Youth Tobacco Act (PDF) by selling tobacco products to minors. If you have questions or would like more information regarding this campaign, please email Shannon Larry-Burton or call 269-927-5692.