Tobacco use in South Carolina 2020
Cigarette use: South Carolina
Cigarette smoking rates in South Carolina
- In 2018, 18.0% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 16.1%.1
- In 2019, 5.9% of high school students in South Carolina smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 6.0%.2
Other tobacco product use: South Carolina
Vaping rates in South Carolina
- In 2017, 4.1% of adults in South Carolina used e-cigarettes.3
- In 2018, 4.4% of adults in South Carolina used smokeless tobacco.3
- In 2019, 21.1% of high school students in South Carolina used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 32.7%.2
- In 2019, 7.1% of high school students in South Carolina used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 3.8%.2
- In 2019, 9.1% of high school students in South Carolina smoked cigars, cigarillos or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 5.7%.2
Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control
How much does South Carolina get from tobacco taxes
- South Carolina received $247.1 million (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2020.4
- Of this, the state allocated $5.0 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2020, 9.8% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
- Smoking-caused health care costs: $1.90 billion per year.4
- Smoking-caused losses in productivity: $2.35 billion per year.5
South Carolina tobacco laws
South Carolina cigarette tax
- South Carolina is ranked 46th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of 57 cents per pack (enacted July 2010), compared to the national average of $1.82. (The District of Columbia has the highest tax at $4.50 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.)6-8
- All other tobacco products are taxed at 5% of the manufacturer’s price.6,7
Clean indoor air ordinances
- Smoking is prohibited in childcare facilities.6,7
- Smoking restrictions are required in government workplaces, schools and recreational/cultural facilties.6,7
- There are no smoking restrictions for private workplaces, restaurants, bars, casinos/gaming establishments and retail stores.6,7
- The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited in ambulances.9
- All school districts must adopt, implement and enforce a written policy prohibiting the use of alternative nicotine products in and on school property, and at school-sponsored events.9
- Wholesalers are required to obtain a license to sell tobacco products. Retailers are not required to obtain a license to sell tobacco products.6
- A license is not required to sell e-cigarette products.9
Youth access laws
- In December 2019, the United States adopted a law raising the federal minimum age of sale of all tobacco products to 21, effective immediately.
- Minors are prohibited from buying alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarettes.6
Quitting statistics and benefits
Quitting smoking and vaping in South Carolina
- The CDC estimates 55.2% of daily adult smokers in South Carolina quit smoking for one or more days in 2018.3
- In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all tobacco cessation medications.7**
- South Carolina’s state quit line invests $5.02 per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.14.7
- South Carolina does not have a private insurance mandate provision for cessation.7
Notes and references
Updated August 2020
*National and state-level prevalence numbers reflect the most recent data available. This may differ across state fact sheets.
**The seven recommended cessation medications are NRT gum, NRT patch, NRT nasal spray, NRT inhaler, NRT lozenge, Varenicline (Chantix) and Bupropion (Zyban).
Fiore MC, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service: May 2008.
1. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2018.
2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System, 2019.
3. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2020.
4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 21 Years Later FY2020, 2019.
5. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Toll of Tobacco in the United States.
6. American Lung Association, State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues (SLATI).
7. American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2020.
8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings. https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0097.pdf. Accessed.
9. Public Health Law Center. U.S. E-Cigarette Regulation: 50-State Review. http://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/resources/us-e-cigarette-regulations-50-state-review. Accessed.