Bill Supported by Tobacco Industry Bypasses Senate Committee Meeting and Public Comment; Lung Association Asks Lawmakers to Vote ‘No’ to Protect South Carolina Youth

Today, the American Lung Association in South Carolina released the following statement regarding House Bill 3681 (H. 3681), legislation to strip away the right of local communities to pass laws that can help prevent and reduce youth tobacco use. This bill, now before the Senate, bars a community's right to pass any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to ingredients, flavors, or licensing, beyond a general business license, related to the sale of tobacco and vaping products.

Last week, Senator Danny Verdin, Chairman of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee, proposed a poll for committee members to agree to send H. 3681 to the full Senate without benefit of committee discussion or public comment if a majority agreed. H. 3681 has now moved to the full Senate for a vote. 

The question needs to be asked why some Senate members feel the need to move so swiftly to pass this bill?  Taking away the rights of communities to enact local legislation to curb increased levels of teen tobacco use would certainly benefit the tobacco industry, and also explain why this legislation is being rushed. The American Lung Association, and many others who oppose this bill deserve to have their voices heard. 

"Teen e-cigarette use continues to be alarmingly high and has created a new generation addicted to deadly tobacco products. The 2019 South Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey reported 30% of high school students currently used a tobacco product. Flavors like menthol, candy and fruit tempt kids to try these products, especially e-cigarettes.  

“The American Lung Association calls on state senators to put South Carolina’s children before tobacco industry profits, and vote ‘no’ on House Bill 3681.”

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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