Senate Hurriedly Advances Bill to Repeal City’s Freedom to Protect Children from Tobacco Addiction, Hearing Scheduled Wednesday

As State Leads Above National Average for Tobacco-Related Illness and Death

February 7, 2023

COLUMBIA, SC – February 7, 2022 – At the pressure of Big Tobacco and its allies, lawmakers are once again moving quickly with a proposal that would endanger the health of our children by taking away the freedom of cities and counties to pass policies stronger than the state law related to the regulation, marketing and sale of tobacco products to our kids. 

The below statement is on behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in advance of tomorrow’s hearing.  

“Our organization knows all too well the lengths Big Tobacco and their allies will go to push state interference laws that block our localities from taking action that hurts their pockets. This week’s action is just the industry’s latest pressure on lawmakers to hurriedly advance legislation that threatens the future health and wellness of our children.”  

“Over a quarter of South Carolina high school students use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. We should be strengthening our freedom to protect our children, not giving Big Tobacco the power to come into our towns and wreak havoc. 

“South Carolinians have long valued freedom and liberty. We urge the Senate to not waiver to a special interest group like Big Tobacco and protect our freedom to protect our families and children by preserving our right to make local decisions.” 

The bill (S.414) will be heard at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. An identical bill has been introduced and failed to pass the past six years.