What is WIWINS?

“The Wisconsin Wins (WI Wins) campaign is a science-based, state-level initiative designed to decrease youth access to tobacco products. WI Wins was launched in the spring of 2002 as part of a comprehensive approach to preventing youth access to tobacco.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services contracts with local partners to conduct investigations to establish retailer compliance with the law. Local initiatives also include retailer education and training, media outreach, and community education.

Currently, Manitowoc County has a 31% sale rate to minors. Check out sales by county at http://wiwins.org/

The approach focuses on three areas:
Community Partnership
Working with law enforcement and businesses to make our communities healthier

Retailer Training
Providing free online training to retailers so they can prevent underage tobacco sales and avoid costly fines

Compliance Checks
Congratulating retailers and employees who protect minors from the unhealthy effects and reminds retailers who sell tobacco of the law and possible consequences


Volunteering With WIWINS

Manitowoc County is accepting youth applications for those who want to assist with compliance checks.

Who is Eligible?

Participation begins at age 16-17, though we can recruit and train 15 year old students so they are ready upon their 16th birthday. We need youth who do not use any tobacco products, are responsible, and have a valid ID (does not need to be a drivers license).

What Does Volunteering Look Like?

The Manitowoc WIWINS youth coordinator will take a group of 2 or more minors to a randomly selected number of retailers that have tobacco licenses. This includes gas stations, grocery stores, and some convince stores. Minors go inside while the coordinator watches and attempt to purchase tobacco products. They must show ID if asked, cannot lie about their age, and are not allowed to attempt to trick retailers into thinking they are older with makeup, college clothing, etc. They then return to the car and give a basic description about what they tried to purchase, if they were asked to show ID, if the product was behind the counter, etc. Once the information is written down by the coordinator, they then travel to the next location. Each stop takes about 1 minute with travel time in between stores being the bulk of work in rural areas where locations are spread out.

What Benefits do volunteers get?

Students will receive a certificate of participation upon completion of WIWINS compliance checks. This can be used to verify community service hours needed for school/organizations and for employment or college applications. They can also ask the adult supervisor to write a letter of recommendation for a job or school application based on their work. Plus their is the invaluable experience of helping create a safe environment for others and exposure to the field of prevention, public health, and law enforcement.

Throughout 2019-2020 we will complete a total of 196 checks. Teams of two students and one adult supervisor work to schedule checks, generally spending 3-5 hours per date. A small token of appreciation is also provided to students that successfully complete their scheduled WIWINS checks.

20 checks = $10 gift certificates
50 checks = $25 gift certificates
75 checks = $50 gift certificates

How to Apply

  1. Fill out the youth application completely including the parent permission and emergency medical form
  2. Submit your application here
    WIWINS Application Portal
    Maximum upload size: 52.43MB
  3. WIWINS Manitowoc youth coordinator, Lexi Otis, will contact you to set up a date and time and meeting location to go on checks