US tobacco sales up, South Carolina quit…

105 points

by: Braley Dodson

Posted: / Up to date:

FILE – On this Nov. 6, 2014, file picture, a person smokes a cigarette on Major Road in Westminster, Mass. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is anticipated to signal a legislation on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, banning gross sales of flavored tobacco and vaping merchandise, together with menthol cigarettes. (AP Photograph/Elise Amendola), File

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Preliminary information is portray a pessimistic image about tobacco use in the course of the pandemic.

A Federal Commerce Fee report discovered that tobacco gross sales have been up for the primary time in twenty years – bumping from 202.9 billion cigarettes bought in 2019, to 203.7 billion in 2020. The amount of cash tobacco firms used to promote elevated from $7.62 billion to $7.84 billion. 

Whereas tobacco use information isn’t but obtainable for 2020, the South Carolina Division of Well being and Environmental Management anticipates that extra individuals are leaning on nicotine as a coping mechanism for the reason that begin of the pandemic. 

Calls to the state’s stop line dropped 24% from pre-pandemic ranges, in accordance with Catherine Warner, the outreach coordinator for the DHEC Division of Tobacco Prevention and Management. 

“That is a concern, because that means that fewer people are trying to quit, which is what we want,” Warner stated. 

South Carolina ranks 18th within the nation for its fee of adults who smoke, in accordance with information from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

Amongst teenagers, smoking stays frequent. About 23% of highschool college students have tried smoking, in accordance with information from the state’s 2019 Youth Danger Habits Survey. About 13% of scholars had tried cigarettes between the ages of 13 to 16, and 4.1% had their first puff earlier than they have been 9 years previous. Of those that answered, 7% had had a cigarette inside the final month.

About 47.3% of scholars had used an digital vapor product, and 22% had finished so inside a month of once they took the survey.

Warner stated that racial unrest, grief, isolation and the price of housing may cause concern, anxiousness and stress, which might make folks flip to tobacco. 

Quitting is very essential now, she stated, as a result of present and former people who smoke are at a excessive danger of extreme COVID-19 signs. Nicotine weakens the immune system, and might put stress on the guts. The extremely addictive substance may worsens signs of tension and melancholy.

In youth, it might probably additionally result in temper problems.

Research on the impacts of e-cigarettes, and if they modify the chance degree for extreme COVID-19 signs, are ongoing.

“What we can say is that any amount of nicotine is not good for the body,” Warner stated. 

She stated smoking is just not a great way to alleviate stress, and that quitting can enhance psychological well being.

DHEC shifted some assets on-line in the course of the pandemic, however had already been utilizing instruments to focus on youth. A vaping program known as Give up the Hit is a social media-based intervention program that makes use of Instagram to put teenagers in teams with a information to present them a help system to stop vaping.

The state additionally launched a brand new web site for the stop line,, which breaks down providers.

Warner stated nicotine customers can name 1-800-QUIT-NOW to be taught extra about assets, get related with a one-on-one coach who can provide individualized remedy and determine triggers, and discover out extra about further help. Individuals may enroll through textual content by texting “READY” to 200-400. Providers are free.

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