IPCPR Legislative | Restrictions in South Carolina

Restrictions in South Carolina

southcarolina

Smoking, Age and Sampling Restrictions in South Carolina

South Carolina law prohibits smoking, except where a smoking area is designated, in: public schools and preschools where routine or regular kindergarten, elementary, or secondary educational classes are held, including libraries; all other indoor facilities providing children’s services to the extent that smoking is prohibited in the facility by federal law and all other licensed childcare facilities; health care facilities; government buildings; elevators; public transportation vehicles; arenas and auditoriums of public theaters or public performing art centers; and buildings, or portions of buildings, and the outside areas immediately contiguous to these buildings owned, leased, operated, or maintained by a public institution of higher learning that the governing board of the institution has designated as nonsmoking.

 

S.C. Code § 44-95-20: Places where smoking is prohibited

 

South Carolina state law does not contain restrictions on smoking in private workplaces, restaurants, or bars.

 

In areas where smoking is permitted, the owner, manager, or agent in charge of the premises or vehicle must conspicuously display signs designating smoking and nonsmoking areas alike, except that signs are not required in private offices.

 

S.C. Code § 44-95-30: Designation of smoking and nonsmoking areas in places where smoking permitted

 

The owner, manager, or agent in charge of the premises must make every reasonable effort to prevent designated smoking areas from impinging on designated smoke-free areas by the use of existing physical barriers and ventilation systems.

 

S.C. Code § 44-95-40: Separation of smoking and nonsmoking areas; barriers; ventilation

 

In 2008, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that local government generally may regulate smoking more stringently than state law.

 

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

 

Exemptions

The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Private offices and teacher lounges that are not adjacent to classrooms or libraries, unless included specifically in a directive by the local school board
  • Designated smoke areas in employee break areas of health care facilities
  • Enclosed private offices and designated areas in employee break areas government buildings
  • Taxicabs
  • Designated areas in foyers, lobbies, or other common areas of arenas and auditoriums of public theaters or public performing art centers, and as part of a legitimate theatrical performance

S.C. Code § 44-95-20: Places where smoking is prohibited

South Carolina state law does not contain restrictions on smoking in private workplaces, restaurants, or bars. Localities may impose more stringent laws or ordinances.

Individuals under 18 years of age cannot purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, or attempt to possess a tobacco product or an alternative nicotine product, or present or offer proof of age that is false or fraudulent for the purpose of purchasing or possessing these products. However, this prohibition does not apply to the possession of a tobacco product or an alternative nicotine product by a minor working within the course and scope of his or her duties as an employee.

 

S.C. Code § 16-17-500(F-G): Sale or purchase of tobacco products or alternative nicotine products for minors; proof of age; location of vending machines; penalties; smoking cessation programs

 

Department of labor staff reported that minors 14 years of age and older may be employed in tobacco retail stores. If the minor’s parents are the owners of the establishment, the minor may be employed at any age.

 

It is illegal to sell, furnish, give, distribute, purchase for, or provide a tobacco product or an alternative nicotine product to a minor under 18 years of age.

 

S.C. Code § 16-17-500(A): Sale or purchase of tobacco products or alternative nicotine products for minors; proof of age; location of vending machines; penalties; smoking cessation programs

 

It is unlawful to sell a tobacco product or an alternative nicotine product through a vending machine unless the vending machine is located in an establishment:

  • Which is open only to individuals 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.

 

S.C. Code § 16-17-500(D): Sale or purchase of tobacco products or alternative nicotine products for minors; proof of age; location of vending machines; penalties; smoking cessation programs

 

State law on youth access to tobacco products must be implemented in an equitable and uniform manner throughout the state and enforced to ensure the eligibility for and receipt of federal funds or grants the state receives or may receive. Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products or alternative nicotine products may not supersede state law or regulation. Nothing in state law affects the right of any person having ownership or otherwise controlling private property to allow or prohibit the use of tobacco products or alternative nicotine products on the property.

 

S.C. Code § 16-17-504: Implementation; local laws

Federal regulations prohibit free samples of cigarettes and limit free samples of smokeless tobacco products to certain age-restricted venues under several conditions.

 

Regulations Restricting the Sale, Distribution, and Marketing of Cigarettes, Cigarette Tobacco, and Smokeless Tobacco: Consumer Fact Sheet
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/ProtectingKidsfromTobacco/RegsRestrictingSale/UCM265540.pdf

 

In South Carolina, it is unlawful for a person to distribute a tobacco product or an alternative nicotine product sample to a person under 18 years of age.

 

S.C. Code § 16-17-502(A): Distribution of tobacco product or alternative nicotine product samples

 

Department of Revenue staff reported that distribution of tobacco samples is subject to the state tobacco product tax and licensing requirements.

 

State law on youth access to tobacco products must be implemented in an equitable and uniform manner throughout the state and enforced to ensure the eligibility for and receipt of federal funds or grants the state receives or may receive. Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products or alternative nicotine products may not supersede state law or regulation. Nothing in state law affects the right of any person having ownership or otherwise controlling private property to allow or prohibit the use of tobacco products or alternative nicotine products on the property.

 

S.C. Code § 16-17-504: Implementation; local laws

 

Department of Revenue staff reported that there are no laws restricting tobacco sampling to certain locations but advised staying away from schools.

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