About 20 percent of South Carolina adults smoke cigarettes, which is higher than the 15 percent of adult smokers nationwide who do.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said it has concerns the tobacco industry spends $181 million a year to market its products in South Carolina.
“In South Carolina we have some pretty staggering numbers,” Government Relations Director Beth Johnson said.
About 9.6 percent of high school kids smoke in South Carolina, which amounts to about 24,500 teens overall. The national rate is 8 percent, the group said.
One-third of cancer deaths in South Carolina are related to smoking, according to ACS. Smoking-related deaths and illnesses cost the state about $1.9 billion a year, Johnson said. She broke down that cost for each state resident. [Read more…]