House Advances Bill That Would Worsen Today’s Youth Tobacco Epidemic

ACS CAN Expresses Disappointment on Lawmaker’s Vote Protecting Big Tobacco’s Pockets Over Prioritizing Children’s Health

March 10, 2021

COLUMBIA, SC – March 10, 2021– The below is a statement on behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and can be attributed to Beth Johnson, ACS CAN Government Relations Director for South Carolina.

“The House Judiciary General Laws Subcommittee sent a clear message to South Carolina families today that tobacco industry profits come before the health of our children. We’re extremely disappointed by today’s vote to advance state government interference into community laws.

“Lawmakers claim it’s because they don’t want a ‘patchwork’ of laws, but the truth is that dynamic already exists in South Carolina, businesses and our local enforcement agencies are accustomed to it and perform well under it.

“This bill is nothing more than a gift to the industry responsible for today’s youth tobacco epidemic and will allow them to remain unregulated. During a time when South Carolinians are suffering from COVID-19 and related respiratory issues, the tobacco industry and its allies continue to addict children to their deadly products.

“Taking away the power of our local communities to act silences the voices of concerned parents, pediatricians and affected teens everywhere and allows our communities to continue to suffer at the hands of Big Tobacco.

“Our local leaders have a right and responsibility to pass local policies that meet the pressing public health needs of their residents and such work is crucial to reducing the cancer, heart and lung disease in our state – particularly as we continue to see higher than national average rates for youth tobacco use.”


The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit

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