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Posters to replace 'We Card'

Those generic "We Card" signs at convenience and grocery stores soon will be replaced with new posters from the state and local health departments.

The Salt Lake Valley Health Department on Tuesday announced the new program, designed to prevent the sale of tobacco to minors. Representatives from various health departments will visit retailers and distribute a new guide to help educate employees about how to avoid selling tobacco to underage youths.

In addition to new posters, billed as "bold and humorous," retailers will receive a window cling and register sticker to help clerks easily calculate birthdays.

The signage will replace the "We Card" stickers provided by the tobacco industry, a message that Heather Borski, tobacco prevention and control program manager for the Utah Department of Health, said was contradictory.

"The industry as a whole has proven time and again to be deceptive," Borski said in a news release. "That is why we created new, stronger, more attention-getting materials that will be used consistently statewide at no cost to the user."

The new materials are provided through the TRUTH program, which uses funds from the Master Settlement Agreement between states and the tobacco industry.

Utah has a relatively low rate of tobacco sales to minors, with only 7 percent of checks resulting in illegal sales. Still, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2.8 million packs of cigarettes are sold every year in Utah to underage youths.