South Carolina

Clean Indoor Air

Public Places

Smoking is prohibited in: 1) elevators; 2) public transportation vehicles, except taxis; 3) public schools and preschools, including libraries, except for certain private offices and teacher’s lounges; 4) all other indoor facilities providing children’s services to the extent that smoking is prohibited in the facility by federal law and other childcare facilities, as defined; 5) almost all state and local government buildings except private enclosed offices and designated areas of employee break rooms; 6) arenas and auditoria of public theaters or public performing arts centers, except smoking areas may be designated in foyers, lobbies or other common areas. Smoking is also specifically allowed as part of a legitimate theatrical performance.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 44-95-10 et seq. (1996).

Note: In March 2008, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled unanimously (5-0) that existing South Carolina law does not prevent local communities from passing stronger ordinances restricting or prohibiting smoking in public places and workplaces. This allows the city of Greenville, South Carolina’s law to go back into effect and provides legal justification for other stronger local smokefree ordinances in South Carolina.

Foothills Brewing Concern v. City of Greenville (2008).

Government Buildings

Smoking is prohibited in most areas of buildings leased or operated by the state or any of its political subdivisions, but is permitted in private enclosed offices and designated areas of employee break areas. Smoking policies in the state Capitol and legislative office buildings shall be determined by the office of government having control over such buildings. “Government buildings” means buildings or portions of buildings which are leased or operated under the control of the state or any of its political subdivisions, except those buildings or portions of buildings which are leased to other organizations or corporations

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 44-95-10 et seq. (1996).

Schools

Smoking is restricted in public schools and preschools where routine or regular kindergarten, elementary, or secondary educational classes are held, including libraries. Private offices and teacher lounges which are not adjacent to classrooms or libraries are excluded unless the offices and lounges are included specifically in a directive by the local school board. This section does not prohibit school district boards of trustees from providing for a smokefree campus.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 44-95-10 et seq. (1996).

Smoking on school buses is prohibited while the bus is in operation.

S.C. CODE ANN. § 59-67-150 (1962).

Child Care Centers

Smoking is prohibited in licensed child care facilities, and all other indoor facilities providing children’s services to the extent that smoking is prohibited in the facility by federal law. “Childcare facilities” means a facility which provides care, supervision, or guidance for a minor child who is not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner or operator of the facility whether or not the facility is operated for profit and whether or not the facility makes a charge for services offered by it. This definition includes, but is not limited to, day nurseries, nursery schools, childcare centers, group childcare homes, and family childcare homes.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 44-95-10 et seq. (1996).

Health Facilities

Smoking in health care facilities is restricted to designated employee break areas. “Health care facility” means acute care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, alcohol and substance abuse hospitals, methadone treatment facilities, tuberculosis hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgical facilities, hospice facilities, radiation therapy facilities, rehabilitation facilities, residential treatment facilities for children and adolescents, habilitation centers for mentally retarded persons or persons with related conditions, and any other facility for which Certificate of Need review is required by federal law. Nothing in this chapter prohibits or precludes a health care facility from being smokefree.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 44-95-10 et seq. (1996).

Penalties/Enforcement

The owner, manager or agent in charge of the premises shall make reasonable efforts to prevent designated smoking areas from impinging upon designated smokefree areas by the use of existing physical barriers and ventilation systems and by conspicuously posting the appropriate signs. A person who smokes in a smokefree area or a person in charge who fails to meet these requirements, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined between $10 and $25.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 44-95-10 et seq. (1996).

Tobacco Excise Tax

Cigarettes

Tax rate per pack of 20: 7 cents

Date last changed: July 1, 1977 — from 6 cents to 7 cents

Year first enacted: 1923

S.C. CODE ANN. § 12-21-620 (1977).

Other Tobacco Products

All other tobacco products: 5% of the manufacturer’s price.

S.C. CODE ANN. § 12-21-620 (1977).

Revenue Collected

$26,622,000

Youth Access

Compliance/Enforcement

The Director of the Department of Revenue shall provide for the enforcement of Section 16-17-502 in a manner that reasonably may be expected to reduce the extent to which tobacco products are sold or distributed to persons under the age of 18 and annually shall conduct random, unannounced inspections at locations where tobacco products are sold or distributed to ensure compliance with the section. The department shall designate an enforcement officer to conduct the annual inspections. Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products may not supersede state law or regulation.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 16-17-503 & 16-17-504 (1996).

Photo ID: It is unlawful to sell a tobacco product to an individual who does not present upon demand proper proof of age. “Proof of age” is defined as a driver’s license or identification card issued by this state or a United States Armed Services identification card. Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products may not supersede state law or regulation.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 16-17-500 (2006, 16-17-501 (2006) & 16-17-504 (1996).

Penalties for Sales to Minors

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, furnish, give, or provide a tobacco product to any minor under the age of 18 years. It is also unlawful to sell a tobacco product to an individual who does not present upon demand proper proof of age. Failure to demand identification to verify an individual’s age is not a defense to an action initiated pursuant to this subsection. Proof that is demanded, is shown, and reasonably is relied upon for the individual’s proof of age is a defense to an action initiated pursuant to this subsection. An individual who knowingly violates these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100 to $200 for a first offense, $200 to $300 for a second offense within three years of the first offense and $300 to $400 for a third or subsequent offense within three years of the first offense. In lieu of the fine, the court may require an individual to successfully complete a Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services approved merchant tobacco enforcement education program. A retail establishment that distributes tobacco products must train all retail sales employees regarding the unlawful distribution of tobacco products to minors. Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products may not supersede state law or regulation.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 16-17-500 (2006) & 16-17-504 (1996).

Penalties to Minors

A minor under the age of 18 years must not purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, or attempt to possess a tobacco product, or present or offer proof of age that is false or fraudulent for the purpose of purchasing or possessing a tobacco product. A minor who knowingly violates this provision in person, by agent, or in any other way commits a non-criminal offense and is subject to a civil fine of $25. In lieu of the civil fine, the court may require a minor to successfully complete a Department of Health and Environmental Control approved smoking cessation or tobacco prevention program, or to perform not more than five hours of community service for a charitable institution. If a minor fails to pay the civil fine, successfully complete a smoking cessation or tobacco prevention program, or perform the required hours of community service as ordered by the court, the court may restrict the minor’s driving privileges to driving only to and from school, work, and church, or as the court considers appropriate for a period of 90 days beginning from the date provided by the court, or delay the issuance of the minor’s driver’s license or permit for a period of 90 days beginning from the date the minor applies for a driver’s license or permit. This section does not apply to the possession of a tobacco product by a minor working within the course and scope of his duties as an employee or participating within the course and scope of an authorized inspection or compliance check. Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products may not supersede state law or regulation.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 16-17-500 (2006) & 16-17-504 (1996).

Restrictions on Distribution of Tobacco Product Samples or Sales of Single Cigarettes

Samples

It is unlawful for a person to distribute a tobacco product sample to a person under the age of 18. A person engaged in sampling shall demand proof of age from a prospective recipient if an ordinary person would conclude on the basis of appearance that the prospective recipient may be under the age of 18. Violation of this law is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $25 for a first offense, not more than $50 for a second offense and not less than $100 for a third or subsequent offense. Proof that the defendant demanded, was shown, and reasonably relied upon proof of age is a defense to an action brought pursuant to this section. Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products may not supersede state law or regulation.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 16-17-502 & 16-17-504 (1996).

Single Cigarettes

It is unlawful to sell, hold for sale, or distribute a package of cigarettes if the package differs in any respect with the requirements of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, for the placement of labels, warnings, or any other information upon a package of cigarettes. A person who knowingly sells, holds for sale, or distributes cigarette packages in violation of this is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned not more than three years and/or be subject to a $1,000 fine.

S.C. CODE ANN. § 16-17-505 (1996).

Restrictions on Sale of Tobacco Products in Vending Machines

Placement

It is unlawful to sell a tobacco product through a vending machine unless the vending machine is located in an establishment, which is open only to individuals who are 18 years of age or older; or where the vending machine is under continuous control by the owner or licensee of the premises, or an employee of the owner or licensee, can be operated only upon activation by the owner, licensee, or employee before each purchase, and is not accessible to the public when the establishment is closed. Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products may not supersede state law or regulation.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 16-17-500 (2006) & 16-17-504 (1996).

Penalty

Violation is subject to the same penalties as selling or giving tobacco products to minors. Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products may not supersede state law or regulation.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 16-17-500 (2006) & 16-17-504 (1996).

Licensing Requirements

Requirements

Every person engaged in the business of purchasing, selling or distributing tobacco products at wholesale or through vending machines shall file with the Department of Revenue for a license to do so. When such business is conducted at two or more separate places, a separate license for each place of business shall be required. However, a person whose business is conducted through vending machines needs to obtain only one license but shall maintain an up-to-date list of the location of each vending machine operated under this license. No penalty is specified for selling tobacco products without a license.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 12-21-660 & 12-21-670 (1993).

Fee

No fee specified

Smoker Protection Laws

The use of tobacco products outside the workplace must not be the basis of personnel action, including, but not limited to, employment, termination, demotion, or promotion of an employee. No specific penalties specified for violation.

S.C. CODE ANN. § 41-1-85 (1991).

Tobacco Liability

Industry Protection

The appeal of a judgment awarding relief in a civil action, under any legal theory, involving a signatory of the Master Settlement Agreement, or a successor to or affiliate of a signatory to the agreement, automatically stays the execution of that judgment. The stay is effective upon the filing of the notice of appeal and during the entire course of appellate review of the judgment.

S.C. CODE ANN. § 11-47-40 (2004).

Tobacco Settlement

Tobacco Control Appropriations

No state money was appropriated for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in FY2009 (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009). $2,000,000 was appropriated in FY2008.

FY2009 Annual Budget (H.B. 4800) enacted 6/4/08 and effective 7/1/08.

South Carolina established the Healthcare Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund in the state treasury. Earnings on this fund must be credited to the fund. The principal must remain in the fund and only the interest earnings may be appropriated and used for a variety of public health policy purposes, which can include youth smoking cessation and prevention programs coordinated by the Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services.

S.C. CODE ANN. § 11-11-170 (2000).

Non-Monetary Provisions

The legislature directed the Department of Health and Environmental Control to develop and implement a youth smoking prevention plan for the purpose of preventing and reducing cigarette smoking by minors. The youth smoking prevention plan must address prevention, cessation, and control of smoking by minors and may include but is not limited to media campaigns; school based youth programs; community based youth programs; business, community, and school partnerships; programs focusing on the enforcement and administration of state minor-related tobacco laws, including retailer education; surveillance and evaluation; chronic disease and health-related programs. To assist in carrying out the purposes of the plan, the department may award youth smoking prevention grants to local agencies, organizations, and entities based on criteria developed by the department. The state plan further shall provide for a grant for an annual statewide school-based survey to measure cigarette use and behavior towards cigarette use by individuals in grades six through 12. Grants must be funded from proceeds received by the state in the settlement agreement. The South Carolina Youth Smoking Prevention Advisory Commission was also established to advise the department in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the state youth smoking plan.

S.C. CODE ANN. § 44-128-30 et seq. (2000).

Securitization

South Carolina created the Tobacco Settlement Revenue Management Authority. The purpose of the authority is to receive all of the state’s tobacco receipts and to issue bonds payable solely from and secured solely by the state’s tobacco receipts. The state’s tobacco receipts due to the state after June 30, 2001, and the right to receive them as they are distributed from the escrow are assigned to the authority. All bonds must be secured solely by and payable solely from the state’s tobacco receipts, or the portion of the state’s tobacco receipts the board determines to pledge for payment. The authority may not issue any bond with a scheduled maturity later than 30 years after the date of issuance.

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 11-49-10 et seq. (2000).

One response to “South Carolina

  1. I have been trying for days to find out if I can legally sell tobacco seedlings that I have been growing . From what I’ve read uncured leaf tobacco should not be a problem. I’ve contacted ATF, they said try SLED, a fine but slightly rude captain at sled said to contact SCdept. of ag.. They have noy responded.Besides the time and energy to produce acouple hundred seedlings (virg. brigt leaf) I would hate to have trouble at my booth at Barnyard flea market. Anyone with ideas?-Tom Rose

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