S.C. Tobacco Plan Evaluation Reports Progress and Makes Recommendations
The South Carolina Tobacco-Free Collaborative and its partners have released an evaluation of the South Carolina Tobacco Control Plan (2007-2013) and report progress in reducing the use of tobacco in the state. Key findings of the report include:
- A 19 percent decrease in the high school smoking rate (19.1 percent to 15.4 percent);
- An 8 percent decrease in the state adult smoking rate (19.2 percent to 17.7 percent);
- A 47 percent decrease in the middle school smoking rate (9 percent to 4.8 percent); and
- A 32 percent decrease in annual per capita cigarette pack sales (94.9 packs to 61.9 packs per capita).
The promising results can be attributed to the following interventions.
- A cigarette tax increase of $1.12 per pack ($.50 state, $.62 federal),
- A six-fold increase in the number of smoke-free communities from 9 to 54,
- Increases in the numbers of tobacco-free school districts and college campuses, and
- State and federal quit-smoking media campaigns.
This release is followed by the 50th Anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking. The report advises the state to spend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended $51 million a year on comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs. This investment will help S.C. reduce the adult smoking rate to 12 percent or less by 2020. The state currently commits $5 million annually to tobacco use prevention.
“Four of South Carolina’s most expensive medical conditions and top causes of premature death are directly related to tobacco-use: heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” said Louis Eubank, executive director for the South Carolina Tobacco-Free Collaborative. “We spend about $80 to treat smoking-related illness for every $1 spent to prevent it. This statistic underscores the critical need to boost tobacco prevention efforts in our state.”
The S.C. Tobacco-Free Collaborative is a statewide assembly of the leading health organizations, community coalitions and businesses committed to reducing the toll of tobacco use in South Carolina.
Learn more at smokefreesc.org.