Skip to content
Tobacco Prevention & Control

2011 South Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey Middle 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 middle school response rate was 82%. The middle school student response rate was 84% yielding an overall response rate (school rate x student rate) of 68.9% for middle school. In 2011, a total of 1,582 middle school students completed the SCYTS.


33% of students had ever used any tobacco product (Male 35.1%, Female 30.6%)
25.8% of students had ever smoked cigarettes (White 21%, Black 30.4%, Hispanic 25.7%)
14.3% of students currently use any tobacco product (Male 16.9%, Female 11%)
5.9% currently smoke cigarettes (White 6.5%, Black 6.4%, Hispanic 8.7%)
6.5% currently use Smokeless Tobacco (SLT) (Male 8.9%, Female 3.3%)
5.5% of students had ever used a new and emerging tobacco product3.
3.4% of students used a new and emerging tobacco product3 in the past 30 days.

Secondhand Smoke (SHS)

19.9% live in homes where others smoke
41.8% are in the same room as others who smoke during the week
89.9% think smoke from others is harmful to them

Cessation – Current Smokers

47.6% want to quit smoking
58.5% attempted to quit smoking in the past year
1.5% ever participated in a program to help quit using tobacco

Pro-health Media vs Tobacco Advertising

60.5% saw or heard anti-smoking media messages in the past month
19.5% said they would ever wear or use something that has a tobacco company name or picture on it


51.2% were taught the dangers of tobacco in the past year
1.6% smoked on school property in the past month
3.5% used  Smokeless Tobacco (SLT) on school property in the past month
4.8% said their school has a program to help students quit using tobacco

Access and Availability - Current Smokers < 18 years old

2.5% buy cigarettes in stores
68.7% get cigarettes via social sources (friends, family and others)

Middle School Highlights

More than 3 in 10 students have ever used tobacco; 14% currently use some form of tobacco; 6% currently smoke cigarettes;
6% currently use smokeless tobacco (spit, chew or dip).

SHS exposure is very high – about 4 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.

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

More than half of the students were taught the dangers of tobacco at school in past year.

Less than 1 in 20 students said that their school had a program to help students quit.

Almost 7 in 10 middle school current smokers of age < 18 years old obtain their cigarettes from friends, family or others.

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.

Click here for printable version of this information (pdf)