Wisconsin lawmakers introduce legislation to curb youth tobacco use

Statewide Health Advocates Applaud Effort

February 13, 2017

MADISON, Wisc. – Feb. 13, 2017 – Rep. Jeffrey Mursau (R-Crivitz), Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) and Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) introduced legislation last week to ensure “other tobacco products,” such as cigars and e-cigarettes, are not given preferential treatment over cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. The measure would require stores to place all tobacco products behind counters and away from children’s reach.


In response, Sara Sahli, Wisconsin government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), Ben Van Pelt, government relations director for the American Heart Association and Dona Wininsky, director of tobacco control and public policy for the American Lung Association in Wisconsin released the following statement:


“So-called ‘other tobacco products’ have been given special treatment for too long. Up to this point, cigars, little cigars and e-cigarettes could be in self-service displays next to the candy and chips, in easy reach of children and teens. This common sense bill puts them where they belong, next to the cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, where they must be requested from a store clerk.


“Tobacco, no matter how it is delivered, is the number-one preventable cause of death in the nation. Placing these products together conveys a strong message: they are all dangerous.


“Representatives Mursau and Ballweg and Senator Harsdorf can count on our organizations to support this legislation and help educate other lawmakers about why this is a fair and easy way to reduce the availability of these products to our young people. They have our thanks for bringing this proposal to the legislature, and we ask other lawmakers to join them in support.”



ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.  ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit


About American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


About American Lung Association in Wisconsin

Our mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit



More Press Releases AboutTobacco Regulation and Products, Wisconsin

Media Contacts

Jennifer Amundson
Associate director, media advocacy
Eagan, Minn.