The 2006 U.S. Surgeon General's report said "there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke." The report further found that non-smoking sections and high-tech ventilation systems are ineffective for protecting people against the toxins found in secondhand smoke.
The EPA also concluded a nonsmoking section is not enough. While exhaust systems may remove the smoky haze and odor, the systems do nothing to remove the 4,000+ toxic chemicals that have been identified in secondhand smoke.
As of January 1, 2020, 40% of South Carolinians live in towns, cities, or counties with smoke-free ordinances. Ordinances vary by municipality but generally prohibit the use of combustible tobacco and other tobacco products in public places, businesses (including restaurants), and some outdoor areas such as ballparks, stadiums, parades, or amphitheaters. DHEC monitors smoke-free ordinances while our community partner, the SC Tobacco Free Collaborative conducts community education on smoke-free environments.
If you're looking to shop, eat or do business in a smoke-free environment, see this map for a listing of towns, cities or counties that have adopted local smoke-free ordinances.