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September 29, 2010

S.C. Tobacco Summit announced

COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Tobacco Summit will be held on Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center to raise awareness about tobacco use prevention and cessation, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

“Tobacco use is the single leading preventable cause of death in South Carolina, and smoking-related health care expenses cost our state more than a billion dollars annually,” said Sharon Biggers, director of DHEC’s Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control. “In recent years South Carolina has made progress in alleviating this health and economic burden thanks to dedicated advocates and health care professionals.

“This event will provide an opportunity to continue that progress by bringing together people from across the state for an educational opportunity including a discussion of emerging issues in tobacco control and cessation,” she said.

According to Biggers, Victoria Almquist, director of outreach at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, will deliver the summit’s keynote address. Jonathan Noel, research assistant at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Center for Global Tobacco Control Research, will headline a session on the science of e-cigarettes. Matthew Carpenter, associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, will provide an overview of tobacco cessation research being conducted at MUSC.

For more information about the summit, visit


Note to reporters and editors: To arrange an on-site interview to be conducted during the summit with Victoria Almquist, Jonathan Noel, or Matthew Carpenter, please contact Mary-Kathryn Craft via the contact information listed below.

For more information:
Mary-Kathryn Craft - (803) 545-4466
E-mail -
Thom Berry - (803) 898-3885
E-mail -