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Tobacco Prevention & Control

2011 South Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey High School Fact Sheet

The South Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey (SCYTS) is a comprehensive survey designed to evaluate prevalence of tobacco use, age of initiation and access to tobacco products. It also includes data on school curriculum, knowledge and attitudes, attitudes toward cessation and readiness to quit, mass media influences, and secondhand smoke exposure. As a surveillance tool, SCYTS monitors key behaviors and attitudes toward tobacco. As an evaluation tool, the survey is intended to document the Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control's progress over time, to recognize groups at risk and to identify areas to strengthen the Division's activities and strategies.

The SCYTS was conducted in 2005, 2006, 2007, 20091 and 20112. A two-stage cluster sample design was used to select a representative sample of public middle (containing any of grades 6-8) and high school students (containing any of grades 9-12) in South Carolina. In the first-stage schools were selected with probability proportional to school enrollment size. In all, 50 middle schools and 50 high schools were chosen. The second sampling stage consisted of systematic equal probability sampling of approximately two classes from each school. All students in the selected classes were eligible to participate in the survey.  The high school response rate was 86%. The high school student response rate was 78.3% yielding an overall response rate (school rate x student rate) of 67.3% for high school. In 2011, a total of 1,411 high school students completed the SCYTS.


57.1% of students had ever used any tobacco product (Male 63.3%, Female 50.6%)
50% of students had ever smoked cigarettes (White 51.9%, Black 49.2%, Hispanic 44.2%)
33.4% of students currently use any tobacco product (Male 40.6%, Female 25.3%)
23.7% currently smoke cigarettes (White 26.8%, Black 13.7%, Hispanic 20%)
11.9% currently use Smokeless Tobacco (SLT) (Male 19.8%, Female 3.6%)
12.7% of students had ever used a new and emerging tobacco product3.
8.3% of students used a new and emerging tobacco product3 in the past 30 days.

Secondhand Smoke (SHS)

28.1% live in homes where others smoke
54.1% are in the same room as others who smoke during the week
88.5% think smoke from others is harmful to them

Cessation – Current Smokers

43.1% want to quit smoking
56.7% attempted to quit smoking in the past year
10.9% ever participated in a program to help quit using tobacco

Pro-health Media vs Tobacco Advertising

62% saw or heard anti-smoking media messages in the past month
32.9% said they would ever wear or use something that has a tobacco company name or picture on it


30.3% were taught the dangers of tobacco in the past year
10.6% smoked on school property in the past month
9.9% used Smokeless Tobacco (SLT) on school property in the past month
5.8% said their school has a program to help students quit using tobacco

Access and Availability - Current Smokers < 18 years old

19.3% buy cigarettes in stores
58.9% get cigarettes via social sources (friends, family and others)

High School Highlights

More than 5 in 10 students have ever used tobacco; 33% currently use some form of tobacco; 24% currently smoke cigarettes; 12% currently use smokeless tobacco (spit, chew or dip).

SHS exposure is very high – more than 5 in 10 students were in the same room with smokers during the week.

About 9 in 10 students think smoke from others is harmful to them.

More than 40% of current smokers want to quit smoking.

More than 6 in 10 students saw or heard antismoking media messages in the past month.

More than two-thirds were NOT taught the dangers of tobacco at school in past year.

Great majority of students (9 of every 10) say they have NOT smoked on school property

Less than 1 in 10 students said that their school had a program to help students quit.

1  2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 SCYTS results at

2 Detailed 2011 YTS tables including 95% confidence intervals are available upon request.

3 New and emerging tobacco products include roll-your-own cigarettes, flavored cigarettes, clove cigars, flavored little cigarettes, smoking from hookah or a waterpipe, snus, dissolvable products, E-cigarettes or some other new tobacco product.

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