Tobacco Use Still a Problem
Commercial tobacco use remains the single largest avoidable risk factor for disease and premature death in the United States and in South Carolina. The use of cigarettes, dip/chew, cigars, e-cigarettes/vapes, and other commercial tobacco products can lead to severe chronic diseases and lung injury. Smoking causes diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases like COPD. Tobacco use can also cause many different types of cancer anywhere in the body.
The public health work conducted by the Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control is data-driven. Regular tobacco surveillance helps identify commercial tobacco use-related health disparities and effectively implement meaningful commercial tobacco prevention and control strategies that include:
- Reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and vaping aerosol (SHS/VA)
- Increasing access to cessation resources and support
- Working to acknowledge, educate, and collaboratively address drivers of commercial tobacco use-related health disparities
- Reducing youth access to commercial tobacco and other harmful nicotine products
South Carolina has seen a significant decrease in smoking among adults ages 18 and up, as well as among teens ages 13-18. Unfortunately, the popularity of Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) products such as e-cigarettes and vapes has complicated the commercial tobacco landscape. ENDS products make quitting more difficult due to the high concentration of nicotine (leading to nicotine addiction). They also make tobacco use appealing to youth with a variety of fruit and candy flavored products. Additionally, many people who use ENDS products are allowed to do so in places where other tobacco products are no longer allowed. This is because smoke-free and tobacco-free policies at workplaces, hospitals, colleges/universities, municipalities, and other settings have yet to include ENDS products like e-cigarettes and/or vapes. Use of ENDS products are prohibited on all SC public school property by state law, which also prohibits possession and use of any tobacco product by youth under the age of 18.
- SC Adult Tobacco Survey Results (2017-18) - (PDF)
- SC Adult Tobacco Survey Results (2012) - (PDF)
- SC Adult Tobacco Survey Results (2015) - (PDF)
- SC Adult Tobacco Survey: County Level Data (2014-15) - (PDF)
- SC Youth Tobacco Surveys
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Call 803-898-2282 to request DHEC Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control data and program information.