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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2010

State named leader in effective smoke-free laws

COLUMBIA, S.C. – For the second year in a row, South Carolina has been recognized as the nation’s leader in enacting effective smoke-free workplace laws, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today.

“For the second consecutive year, the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights has named South Carolina as the Smokefree Air Challenge Award winner,” DHEC Commissioner Earl Hunter said. “This is a credit to the local health groups and advocates who work so hard to educate our state’s citizens and policymakers about the serious health risks of secondhand smoke and the benefits of smoke-free laws.”

“It is an honor for our state to again have been selected for this award that is considered a top achievement in tobacco control,” said Sharon Biggers, director of DHEC’s Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control. “The real winners are the thousands of South Carolinians protected from secondhand smoke in the workplace because of the state’s 33 local smoke-free ordinances.”

The award, which recognizes leadership in passing local smoke-free laws, will be presented on Thursday, May 27 at 5 p.m. during a ceremony at the Flight Deck restaurant in Lexington. Lexington County was one of 12 S.C. communities to pass comprehensive smoke-free workplace ordinances since Jan. 2009.

Biggers said since 2006 when the Surgeon General released a landmark report called The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, five S.C. counties and 28 cities and towns have passed smoke-free laws. To see a complete listing, visit DHEC’s website at: http://www.scdhec.gov/tobacco.

DHEC’s Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control provides local communities education on the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure and technical assistance on smoke-free policy implementation.

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For more information:
Mary-Kathryn Craft – (803) 545-4466
E-mail – craftmk@dhec.sc.gov
or
Adam Myrick – (803) 898-3884
E-mail – myrickar@dhec.sc.gov
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