What's up with RCYC
Welcome to RCYC Online - your inside report to creating a healthy, supportive and safe environment while solving the significant alcohol, drug and violence problems of youth and their families in Rusk County.
Join us on FACEBOOK
Like what you see?
Stay connected with the Rusk County Youth Council by visiting us on Facebook!
Just go to the link below to remain up to date on what's new!!
RCYC Executive Board
RCYC Executive Board members are Chairman Jeremy Allard, Vice-Chairperson Stacey Armitage, and Treasurer Corrine Dewitt.
It is the mission of the Rusk County Youth Council to combine the resources of the county for the purpose of preventing and solving violence, alcohol, tobacco, and other drug problems of our children and youth integrating resources through communication and collaborative planning towards prevention of at risk behavior, encouragement of health and wellness, positive youth development, and resiliency for youth ages 0-21 years and their families.
~RCYC Mission Statement~
WI WINS issues press release on tobacco in Rusk County
New report: Number of WI retailers selling tobacco to minors inching closer to 10%
Ladysmith, WI – More Wisconsin kids are being sold tobacco products illegally, according to new data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The data comes from the 2016 Synar survey, which examines the number of retailers that sell tobacco to minors. The 2016 rate of 7.2% is up from 6.8% in 2015 and 6.4% in 2014.
Wisconsin as a whole remains below the national average of 10%, and in recent months tobacco sales to the youth in Rusk County has been on the decline. However, Rusk County's underage tobacco sales for 2016 still comes in at 14%, slightly above the state's 7.2% average. This has drawn the attention of many county officials, and health advocates say there’s reason for concern.
When interviewed, Rusk County Youth Council President, Jeremy Allard had this to say, “The fact is that a number of the tobacco products being sold in stores are highly appealing to youth. Preventing these sales is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to protecting kids and improving the health of our community”
One major difference between the 2016 Synar survey and previous years is that it includes all tobacco products instead of only cigarettes. According to representatives from the RCYC, the timing for the change is good.
“The days where we could only look at underage sales of cigarettes are long gone. More and more youth are turning to e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products, so it’s important that surveys like this one look at the whole tobacco picture.” Said, Rusk County Youth Council Member and Drug Free Communities Director, Julie Bever.
This past November and December members of the Rusk County Youth Council conducted their most recent rounds of Wisconsin Wins tobacco compliance checks. The checks consisted of minor teens, under adult supervision, entering designated business establishments in Rusk County for the sole purpose of purchasing tobacco products. The 2016 checks are now complete, and Rusk County has registered a 14% sales rate. Upon contacting the Rusk County Health Officer, Anita Zimmer, she stated, “The majority of our local businesses did well. However, at a county level we still have a 14% sale rate to minors, and that is concerning.”
Information obtained from the RCYC’s report to the WI WINS organization indicates that the 14% sale rate seems to stem from either the lack of training on the part of the business owners, or indifference on the part of the employee selling the products to the children. In the instances surrounding the sales in Rusk County the student’s I.D’s were not requested, or the clerk simply took the word of the child that they were old enough to purchase tobacco products.
Local health advocates say education is the key to driving the state's sale rate back down. To achieve that end, the statewide Wisconsin Wins program provides free retailer training through www.smokecheck.org, which help them learn Wisconsin’s tobacco sales law and avoid the costly fines that come with underage sales. Among other key points, the site emphasizes the importance of verifying every customer’s age before making a tobacco sale.
“We all win when tobacco is kept out of our kids’ hands,” said Julie Bever. “We definitely encourage local tobacco retailers to visit the site or contact us if they’d like to learn more about what they can do to prevent future underage sales.”
If you, or your organization would like to have RCYC help you with an activity and have it listed on our website, please send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Julie at
What's up in January?
Our "Hiding in Plain Sight" mock bedroom will be on display to the adult public at the following local sporting events: Ladysmith Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Bloomer Tuesday, January 17th. Bruce Varsity Doubleheader vs. Hurley Monday, January 23rd.