Tobacco-Free Schools

Unexplained Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with E-cigarette Use

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is coordinating with several states to investigate multiple reports of vaping related lung injury.  Healthcare providers and clinicians should report any suspected cases of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette use to their local health department.


The Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act of 2006, has been amended to add a section requiring all local school districts to adopt, implement, and enforce a written tobacco-free school policy by August 1, 2019.  The law has also been updated to include e-cigarettes in the definition of “alternative nicotine products”.  Access this updated information here:

Nicotine dependency and other tobacco-related health risks are a threat to SC youth.  Data shows that more than 85% of adult smokers began using tobacco before the age of 18 and that 2,800 kids in the state become regular smokers each year.  An estimated 103,000 kids in SC younger than age 18 will die prematurely from a smoking-related disease and many more will live with a tobacco-related illness.  

Historically, the most common tobacco products used by SC youth have been cigarettes and other combustible forms of tobacco.  With the introduction of new tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes (vapes), hookah, and dissolvable tobacco products, youth are more at risk for nicotine dependency and long-term tobacco use than ever before.  Recent DHEC surveillance efforts show that the most common tobacco product used among SC youth is e-cigarettes or vapes, now defined as an “alternative nicotine product” in S.C. Code Ann. § 16-17-501 (2018).

100% Comprehensive Tobacco-Free Model Policy

The Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control has developed a number of resources to help school districts implement a comprehensive tobacco-free policy that is in compliance with the requirements found in section 59-1-380 [Act No. 25 (R38, H3420)] of the SC Code of Laws.  These resources can be used to:

  • Adopt a comprehensive tobacco-free school model policy
  • Implement and enforce a comprehensive tobacco-free model policy
  • Announce policy to staff, students, contractors, and visitors
  • Locate tobacco prevention and cessation resources
  • Provide evidence-based youth tobacco prevention curricula

Resources for School Districts

Communication Tools

Tobacco Prevention Curricula

Youth Tobacco Cessation 

Fact Sheets

For More Information

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Quit Smoking S.C. Tobacco Quitline Smoking Tobacco Tobacco Use Statewide