Tobacco Industry Manipulation
of South Carolina Government

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1999Philip MorrisPM's "South Carolina State Plan 1999." "In spite of bible belt culture and the Christian right influence" ... "Philip Morris has an excellent image." "To our benefit is a strong well respected lobbying team and a Hospitality Association with active leadership." This five page document outlines in detail how PM will execute its SC battle plan for 1999. It shows how Philip Morris uses a team planning approach in which the resources of its other two major corporations (Miller beer and Kraft foods) are brought to bear upon impacting legislation in S.C. It leaves you wondering what a "poll-con" is - something it does for favored legislators - and in awe of a tidal wave of influence that PM can muster on any issue.
01/14/99SenateS-309 is sponsored in Session 113 by Land, Leventis, McGill, Leatherman, Elliott, and others, seeking to create a "special family farm relief fund" funded with 1/3rd of all Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payments. It is referred to the Agriculture Committee where it was allowed to die in favor of a revised bill introduced on 03/25/99.
01/22/99House RepublicansLetter to RJ Reynolds asserting that the House Republican Caucus supports anti-tax pro business positions devoted to shrinking government. During the 1994 campaign we formed the "Business Roundtable" to let us stay in touch with concerns of businesses impacted by the legislative process. Invitation to RJR to renew its Roundtable membership by sending $3,500 which covers RJR's attendance at all Caucus political events, to the annual golf and tennis tournaments, to the spring reception, and to periodic Roundtable meetings, the first of which is 02/16/00 at the Clarion Town House Hotel on Gervis Street in Columbia. Contact Fred Allen [local RJR lobbyist] if any questions. The letter is signed by House Speaker Wilkins and the Chairman of ten House Committees.
03/04/99SC Attorney GeneralSC Attorney General Condon announces that he has obtained SC Court approval of our state's portion of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA)
03/04/99RJ ReynoldsPDF document in which RJR gives House Republican Caucus and Senate Democratic Caucus $3,500 each. [Note: the Caucus accounts are a wonderful means of laundering tobacco industry contributions by mixing nicotine dollars soiled by dependency, decay, disease and death with contributions from industries that do not kill half of all loyal customers -- each an average of 15.3 years early. The Legislature's four Caucus accounts serve as both party petty cash slush funds and as a campaign funding source to give incumbents an unfair advantage over any challenger. While the challenger is limited to a maximum of $1,000 per contributor, according to records at during the 2000 campaign cycle (2 years) both Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds gave $7,000 each to the House Republican Caucus. The Caucuses then turned around and gave a number of members with opposition $10,000 to fight their competition - ten times their opposition's limit.]
03/08/99Philip MorrisSummit Meeting of PM Field Action Team at which eight were in attendance (see page 6).
03/30/99HouseH-3789 is introduced by Battle, Witherspoon, Kennedy, and others, entitled the Tobacco Escrow Fund Act, to create an account in which to deposit any future funds received from small tobacco companies that failed to participate in the Master Settlement Agreement. This bill will be signed into law on 06/01/99, just 62 days after introduction. See companion Senate S-659 co-sponsored by Land, McGill, Leatherman, Elliott and others.
03/30/99Philip Morris PM announces its intent to seek a Governor's "We Card" proclamation. It will succeed in getting Governor Jim Hodges, who himself accepted $5,650 in tobacco industry contributions in 1998, to issue a "We Card" proclamation. [Note: The "We Card" and Philip Morris' AAA program -- action against access -- were both quickly conceived in about 1995 in response to the tobacco industry learning that the FDA was about to issue significant nationwide regulations in an attempt to diminish youth access to nicotine products (link to 03/31/97 107 page review of "We Card" implementation). The FDA's attempt to assume jurisdiction to regulate tobacco sales failed and the "We Card" program we were left with allowed the tobacco industry to create a false facade pretending meaningful youth tobacco purchase control while fostering an image of responsible nicotine marketing and sales. The problem is that without teeth there is no bite. Retailers know that the S.C. penalty for selling nicotine to a child (and addicting them to it) is only $25, that there is no S.C. retail tobacco licensing law and no license to lose, and that state enforcement in seeking the $25 fine for violations discovered during annual Synar inspections is non-existent. According to the CDC, S.C. youth smoking in grades 9-12 has actually increased from 27% in 1993, to 33% in 1995, and to 38.5% in 1997].
04/06/99HouseH-3826 is introduced into Session 113 by Rep. Battle. It is a "gray market" cigarettes bill designed to protect U.S. major brands against the resale of their own lower priced cigarettes that were marked for and intended for sale in overseas markets. It is primarily a profits protection issue that will be vigeriously enforced by the SC Tax Commission. The bill will be signed into law on 06/11/99 (just 65 days after introduction) as S.C. Code Section 16-17-505, making it a crime punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 fine and/or 3 years in prision [Note: the fine under Section 16-17-500 for selling cigarettes to children and likely addicting them to nicotine for life is just $25.00. Are nicotine profits 40 times more important than the neurochemical freedom, health and life expectancy of our children, teens and young adults?].
04/06/99HouseH-3828 is sponsored by Witherspoon, Sharpe and Hayes. It is the companion to S-714 immediately below and is referred to Ways & Means on 03/02/00.
04/14/99SenateS-714 is introduced by Land, McGill, Leatherman, Elliott, and others, in an attempt to establish the "Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission" to disburse our state's Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payments received from cigarette manufacturers to our state's 873 tobacco growers, and more than 1,000 quota owners, under an extremely complex damages formula. As an act of charity the bill would have require that 1/6th of all funds handled by the Commission were to have been used for youth smoking prevention services (an amount that would have amounted to more than $17 million by 2000. This bill was allowed to die in the Agriculture Committee in favor of S-739 (introduced 6 days later), a bill that did not obligate one thin dime to be used for youth smoking prevention.
04/14/99HouseH-3921 in Session was a bill to amend 44-95-20 to make it illegal to smoke in the statehouse and the legislative buildings. It was sent to Agriculture Committee where it died.
04/20/99SenateS-739 (whose House mirror was H-3953) is introduced in Session 113 by McGill and Elliott, would be enacted into law as Section 46-30-210 on 06/11/99 (just 51 days) establishing the S.C. Tobacco Community Development Board to assist "the communities that may suffer adverse economic results from the impact of the Master Settlement Agreement." [Note: The section speculates that less nicotine will be sold because of the projected increased cost of cigarettes associated with cigarette manufacturers having to raise prices in order to make payments to each state under the MSA. Amazingly, the bill and law have no damages requirement or any formula for determining how division of monies will be made but leaves it entirely up to the Board. Current Board members include the Governor, Commissioner of Agriculture Sharpe, AG Henry McMaster, Senators Leatherman and McGill, and Representatives Rhoad and Witherspoon and others. Between 1998 and 2000 the Board disbursed $106.3 million in MSA funds that were termed "Phase 1" funds -- with no strings attached -- while $0 were spent on helping any South Carolinian break nicotine's grip upon them].
04/22/99RJ ReynoldsPDF document in which RJR gives $1,000 to the S.C. Legislative Black Caucus.
04/27/99Philip MorrisPhilip Morris 3rd draft of Youth Smoking Prevention Fund legislation prepared by Philip Morris's national attorneys Arnold & Porter. It appears to be Philip Morris' attempt to ensure that no MSA funds are used for adult or youth smoking cessation programs but instead for youth prevention programs only. It will be introduced as a Senate bill on 06/03/99 and a House bill on 02/03/00
05/14/99Philip MorrisPM analysis of SC use of Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) funds which PM indicates will be $2.3 billion. Reviews Bills: H3262 would give 1/3rd of all MSA funds to tobacco communities; H3952 & S739 create SC Tobacco Community Development Board which will disburse $$ to tobacco quota owners and tobacco farmers; S309 creates special family farm relief fund from a portion of MSA $$; S714 creates SC Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Comm. to disburse MSA $$ (see page 24 & 25). What is utterly amazing is that SC sued the tobacco companies, including PM, in order to recoup Medicaid expenses it paid caused by smoking and as shown in this chronology PM is actively involved in seeing that as much of the settlement money as possible gets shifted form the manufacturers to tobacco quota owners and growers, with zero dollars toward adult or youth smoking cessation.
05/14/99Black CaucusSC Legislative Black Caucus writes RJ Reynolds thanking it for becoming a sponsor of the Caucus Round Table and enclosing a receipt.
05/20/99Philip MorrisPM circulates news story sharing DAODAS SYNAR survey results finding that only 20% of minors were successful in purchasing cigarettes. It notes that while successful purchase rates continue to decline that 40% of SC teens reported smoking in the past month
06/03/99SenateS-894 Philip Morris Youth Smoking Prevention legislation introduced in Senate by McGill. According to handwritten notes on a 06/09/99 copy of S-894 faxed within Philip Morris, S-894 is "The first of the real thing. Introduced before legislature ended its session."
06/21/99Philip MorrisS-894 is outlined and followed by PM [Note: McGill's bill would have funded youth smoking prevention efforts]
07/02/99RJ Reynolds"The SC Legislature has completed its 1999 regular session." "No legislation having an adverse impact on RJR or the tobacco industry was enacted." Legislation Enacted: H-3789 MSA model legislation; H-3826 prohibits the sale of gray market cigarettes; S-739 enables growers to participate in trust fund. Legislation Defeated: H-3132 increases penalties for minors possession of tobacco products; H-3921 bans smoking in State House and legislative buildings. "The industry team in South Carolina is well coordinated and very effective."
07/14/99RJ ReynoldsPDF document showing summary of all RJR legislative efforts. Notes that gray market legislation has passed in South Carolina (see S.C. Code Section 16-17-505 ) making it a crime to sell cigarettes that were marked as intended for sale to overseas markets - cigarettes that are generally sold overseas for much less due to diminished income of smokers in third world nations. This legislation protects tobacco industry profits. Contrast Section 16-17-505 's first offense criminal penalty for selling cheaper overseas cigarettes of up to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000 with S.C. Code Section 16-17-500 's first offense of no jail time and only $25 for selling cigarettes to a child and likely addicting them to a lifetime of nicotine dependency. Is the S.C. Legislature telling us that cigarette profits are 40 times more important than a child's life?
08/05/99RJ ReynoldsPDF document in which RJR spends $2,447.95 to co-host a reception for the S.C. House Republican Caucus in Charleston at Charleston Place Hotel. RJR golf bags, duffle bags and umbrellas are listed as contributions.
08/06/99LorillardLorillard gives S.C. Democratic Party $2,500
09/07/99RJ ReynoldsPDF document from RJR files that it is keeping an eye on project S.C. ASSIST objectives and partnerships.
10/11/99Philip MorrisTwo page PM registration form for the 1999 State Government Affairs Conference held at the Westin Resort at Hilton Head. Notice how those attending can make a request for cigarettes. In an October 12, 1999 speech by Sr. V.P. of Corporoate Affairs Steve Parrish at this PM strategy planning conference, Philip Morris unveiled its new campaign of "Constructive Engagement" that will permit PM to "respond to and shape a political, regulatory, and attitudinal environment that permits the Company to achieve its business objectives." Always looking for the "win-win" situation, but when it "must fight for fundamentals, fight hard."
11/03/99RJ ReynoldsPDF document in which RJR interests work to defeat Charleston clean indoor air movement. As background, on 10/28/99 a Charleston ad hoc advisory committee sent out alarms throughout the tobacco industry when it voted to ban smoking in all public places in the city. On 11/17/99 City Council refused to support the ban but did give first reading and strong support to an ordinance that would regulate exhaust system requirements during all public indoor smoking. In just one month Council had a change of heart and at its 12/21/99 meeting deferred action on cleaning-up Charleston's indoor air.
11/10/99HouseRepresentatives Kirsh, Bales and Seithel introduce H-4286 into Session 113 seeking to amend 16-17-500 to keep rolling papers out of the hands of children and teens and to raise the minimum fine from $25 to $100. They also seek to amend 12-21-620 to add a 10.5 mills tax to the cost of rolling papers. The bill dies in House Ways & Means Committee.
11/29/99Philip Morris & LorillardAn "urgent" Fax from to Hospitality Association of South Carolina (Tom Sponseller) to Philip Morris and Lorillard lobbyists on the proposed City of Charleston ventilation ordinance. It seeks their input on proposed letters to the Mayor and City Attorney and recounts an 11/19 conversation with the Mayor in which "he seemed more interested in the fund raising referred to in the second paragraph of his letter, than the Ordinance."
12/07/99RJ ReynoldsPDF file in which RJR pays for Charleston phone bank from December 7-8.
12/16/99RJ ReynoldsPDF file in which RJR donates $3,500 to the SC House Republican Caucus. It also sends the SPACC (The Speaker's Politically Active Citizen's Committee) $3,500 by mailing it to 408 E. North St., Greenville, 29601, which is the home address of David H. Wilkins, the Speaker of SC House of Representatives. According to South Carolina Code of Laws Section 8-13-1314, "within an election cycle, no candidate or anyone acting on his behalf may solicit or accept: (1) a contribution which exceeds: (a) three thousand five hundred dollars in the case of a candidate for statewide office; or (b) one thousand dollars in the case of a candidate for any other office."
12/23/99RJ ReynoldsRJR donates $3,500 to the SC Senate Democratic Caucus (see page 5)
02/03/00HouseH - 4544, Philip Morris authored youth smoking prevention legislation, is introduced in House by Rep. Jennings and is referred to the Ways and Means Committee where it dies. The Senate version is S 0984 which will pass the Senate and be referred to the House Ways & Means where it too will die. [Note: I find it amazing that a majority of SC's Master Settlement Agreement funds were to be paid by Defendant Philip Morris, who is here providing legislation telling us how to spend those funds. The bill's words were chosen well. What PM did want to see is its money being used to help those already addicted to nicotine break free.]
02/07/00Philip MorrisDraft of two page article by Philip Morris noting a 38.6% 9th to 12th grade S.C. youth smoking rate, asserting that the D.A.R.E. program is ineffective in regard to smoking, and recommending that our schools adopt a program called "Life Skills Training." Question: If PM, with 2003 net earnings of $81 billion, is truly concerned about having helped chemically enslave more than 60,000 S.C. high school students then where is Philip Morris' S.C. program to help our youth break nicotine's amazing grip upon their minds, health and lives?
02/16/00RJ ReynoldsPDF file showing S.C. House Agricultural Committee dinner at Dianne's on Devine hosted by RJR & B&W. Check marks suggest attendees included Speaker Wilkins, Sharpe, Bales, Battle, Frye, Gilham, Gourdine, Lloyd, Ott, Rhoad, Wilkes and Witherspoon.
02/25/00Philip MorrisPM's Regional State Government Affairs Director signs a $42,000 contract with Eskew Communications Group, Inc.'s Tucker Eskew of Columbia, SC to "develop constituencies, at the request of the Company" and "serve as a general resource for the benefit of the Government Affairs Department of the Company on matters relevant ... to the Company." Today Tucker Eskew is Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States in the White House Office of Communications.
02/28/00RJ ReynoldsPDF file showing RJR contributing $1,300 to the S.C. Chamber of Commerce.
03/02/00HouseSession 113 H-4731 by Rep. Simrill seeks to give law enforcement authority to confiscate and destroy tobacco products found in the possession of a minor. The bill dies in the House Judiciary Committee.
03/16/00SenateS-1251 filed by Sen. Drummond seeking to amend 16-17-500 which makes it illegal to give or sell minors cigarettes to also make it illegal to give minors cigars or rolling papers and to raise the section's fine from $25 to $100. Referred to Senate Judiciary where it died.
03/27/00LorillardLorillard gives SC Democratic Party $10,000
04/05/00RJ ReynoldsRJR hosts dinner for House Ways & Means Committee, the House Speaker and his staff, and the Clerk of the House at Saluda's Restaurant in Columbia (see pages 6 and 25).
04/09/00LorillardLorillard hosts dinner for S.C. House Ways & Means Committee, House Sgt. of Arms, the House Clerk and House Speaker Wilkins
05/16/00Lorillard & RJRLorillard & R.J. Reynolds host dinner for SC Senate Finance Committee at Mr. Friendly's in Columbia that is attended by nine Committee members, including the Chairman (see PDF pages 7 and 26).
05/25/00RJ ReynoldsRJR donates $1,000 to House Speaker Wilkins (see page 19)
05/31/00RJ ReynoldsRJR hosts dinner for the House Education Committee at Al's Upstairs Restaurant in Columbia that is attended by 14 Committee members including the Chairman and House Speaker Wilkins (see PDF pages 8 and 27).
06/05/00R.J.ReynoldsPDF file showing that RJR was following Charleston's clean indoor air movement. Reports action has been put on hold (see page 12).
06/28/00RJ ReynoldsRJR donates $3,500 to SC House Democratic Caucus (see page 18).
07/00LorillardLorillard internally circulates a news story stating that SC legislature has decided to return 50% of MSA $$ to tobacco communities, 25% into fund for tobacco farmers and quota owners and 25% in health care trust fund.
07/10/00Philip MorrisPhilip Morris's Government Affairs department signs a $21,000 five month contract with Denny Public Affairs (DPA), Tony Denny's sole proprietorship, located at 401 Daylily Court, Lexington, S.C. to "develop constituencies" and "serve as a general resource for the benefit of the Government Affairs Department of the Company on matters relevant ... to the Company." According to Tony Denny's online profile he is a former executive director of the S.C. Republican Party and skilled at grassroots mobilization for legislative meetings and letter writing campaigns. Contract "Exhibit F" indicates that DPA should not oppose a list of potential legislation issues including "limits on youth access to vending machines."
07/16/00Philip Morris & RJRPM and RJR are 2 of 15 co-hosts for 4 Senators and 7 Representatives who attend a dinner in honor of Senator Moore at the House of Blues in Chicago during the NCSL convention (see PDF pages 9 and 28).
08/00LorillardLorillard makes contributions to Wilkins, Battle, Sharpe, Rhoad, Harrell, Land, McGill, Moore, Rankin, and others.
08/05/00Philip Morris & RJRPM and RJR are two of five co-hosts for a dinner attended by 3 Senators and 21 House members (including Speaker Wilkins) at Mary Mahoney's in Biloxi, Mississippi (see PDF pages 10 and 29).
08/17/00RJ ReynoldsRJR donates $2,500 to SC Senate Republican Caucus (see page 18).
08/25/00LorillardLorillard hosts "dinner" for the SC House Republican Caucus.
08/25/00RJ ReynoldsRJR hosts a "reception" attended by 32 Republican House members, including House Speaker Wilkins, at Litchfield Beach Club (see PDF pages 11 and 30).
09/28/00RJ ReynoldsA single page showing RJR's division of $25,000 among S.C. House and Senate members from March though September of 2000.
11/08/00Philip MorrisPM following elections in SC legislature and which party will have control.
12/06/00HouseIn Session 114, H-3015 by Representatives Kirsh & Wilder seeks to amend 16-17-500 to keep rolling papers out of the hands of youth, to raise the minimum fine from $25 to $100, and to amend 12-21-620 to add a 10.5 mills tax to rolling papers. Their bill dies in the House Ways & Means Committee.
01/25/01HouseProposed S.C. Code of Laws Section 16-17-507, H-3356 introduced into Session 114, is a bill by J. Brown, Allen, Breeland, R. Brown, Mack, Moody-Lawrence, and F.N. Smith seeking to require tobacco products to be behind a counter and concealed so as to be out of view by customers. The bill was doomed the moment House leadership assigned it to the House Agriculture Committee.
01/30/01Philip MorrisPM's Regional State Government Affairs Director renews the 07/10/00 contract with Tony Denny of Lexington, S.C. offering $48,000 to "develop constituencies" and "serve as a general resource for the benefit of the Government Affairs Department of the Company on matters relevant ... to the Company."
02/19/01RJ ReynoldsSC Senate Republican Caucus takes $3,500 from RJR
02/23/01RJ ReynoldsSC House Republican Caucus takes $3,500 from RJR.
03/19/01RJ ReynoldsHouse Speaker Wilkins accepts $1,000 from RJR.
04/01Philip MorrisLists 17 members attending the SC PM Field Action Summit Meeting.
04/03/01SenateS-532 is introduced into Session 114 attempting to rename 16-17-500 the "Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act," to make it unlawful for a minor to attempt to purchase tobacco, and to forbid cigarette machines in locations where youth have access. It dies in the Senate Judiciary Committee and its House companion ( 114 H-3872 ) dies in the House Judiciary Committee.
04/13/01LorillardLorillard tracks S 575 ("S" designates a SC Senate Bill and "H" a SC House Bill), a bill that would make it illegal for a minor to attempt to purchase cigarettes. It was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on 04/11/01 (Chaired by Senator McConnell ) where it died.
04/17/01Philip MorrisPM conducts a 3 day statewide survey representing its questions as coming from "American Viewpoint, an independent market research firm", and learns that 62% of South Carolinians favor a ban on cigarette machines, that 78% favor larger pack warning labels such as "cigarettes are addictive," and that 94% favor a law requiring age identification to stop youth from purchasing nicotine products.
05/10/01Philip MorrisPM briefs the SC Association of Convenience Stores, Merchants Association and Petroleum Marketers Association on FDA regulation of tobacco. The SC Convenience Store Association's focus is in store displays & national standards for underage purchase. The report notes that greater cigarette vending machine restrictions would be seen as a positive development by the Convenience Store Association (see page 4).
06/14/01Philip MorrisPhilip Morris e-mail evidencing that it sponsored three South Carolina Chamber of Commerce membership and legislative receptions and that it was contemplating sponsoring three more.
07/20/01 Philip MorrisPhilip Morris lists 12 members that it calls the "PM Field Action Team" that include the SC Association of Convenience Stores, SC Petroleum Marketers Association, SC Merchants Association, SC Commissioner of Agriculture and the SC Hospitality Association. The nicotine industry isn't just growers and processors but those deriving substantial profits from its sale. If they had their way we'd all be hooked on nicotine.
03/26/02SenateS-1159 in Session 114 seeks an excise tax increase from 3.5 to 14 mills per cigarette, and from 5 to 10% on the price of all other tobacco products. It dies in Senate Finance Committee.
03/28/02SenateS-1171 introduced in Session 114 seeks to increase excise tax from 3.5 to 14 mills per cigarette and from 5% to 10% of the price of all other tobacco products. It is referred to the Senate Finance Committee where it dies.
07/23/02RJ ReynoldsRJR Executive Summary of State Legislative Activity boasts that S.C. has completed its legislative session "without passing legislation harmful to the tobacco industry." It notes that efforts to increase the smoker tax by 44 cents per pack failed in the House and that a bill restricting "self-service" was also defeated. This is a good summary of RJR legislative concerns in all 50 states.
10/17/02RJ ReynoldsRJR gives $5,000 to the Senate Republican Caucus and $5,000 to the "Victory Fund." According to handwritten notes "[t]he Victory Fund (SC) is a fund set up within the SC Democratic Party for outstanding Democratic candidates."
End of SC Tobacco Industry Documents
12/04/02HouseSession 115's H-3084 "Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act of 2003" was passed by the House and on 3/4/02 sent to Senate Judiciary Committee where it died.
12/04/02HouseH-3103, a bill by J. Brown introduced in Session 115, seeks to create 16-17-507 requiring that tobacco products remain behind a counter so as to be beyond a customer's reach. It was referred to the House Agriculture Committee on 1/14/03 where it has apparently died.
12/09/02SenateS002 in Session 115 is a bill seeking to amend S.C. Code Section 12-21-620 to raise the tax to 2.65 cents per cigarette and 10% of purchase price for all non cigarette tobacco products. It is referred to Senate Finance Committee on 1/14/03 where it dies.
12/09/02HouseH-3173 is introduced in Session 115 by Rep. Lourie seeking to impose an additional tax of 2.9 cents per cigarette. It is referred to the House Ways & Means Committee where it dies.
12/11/02SenateS-093 is introduced into Session 115 seeking a tax increase from 3.5 to 14 mills per cigarette and from 5 to 10% of the price of all other tobacco products. It is referred to the Senate Finance Committee where it dies.
01/21/03HouseThe forces for cheap tobacco counter-attack. H-3364 is introduced into Session 115 by Representatives Battle, Witherspoon, Kennedy, Rhoad, Hays, Snow, Branham, Barfield and Coats in which they actually seek to reduce the tobacco tax from 3.5 mills to 1 mill per cigarette. It is referred to House Ways & Means Committee.
01/22/03HouseSession 115's H-3404 by Rep. Altman seeks to raise the smoking age to 21 by adding new section 20-7-8927 under "Offenses Involving Minors," right behind the alcohol drinking age law (also 21). The bill also seeks to amend 16-17-500 to change the age to 21 while leaving the penalty at $25 with no law against minor purchase and no other access concerns. It also would amend 44-128-20 Youth Smoking Prevention Plan to substitute 21 years of age for references to minors. The bill went to House Judiciary where it was killed.
03/11/03HouseH-3768 is introduced into Session 115 seeking a 53 cent tax increase on a pack of cigarettes. The bill would impose an additional tax of 2.65 cents on each cigarette with revenues to go into a new Medicaid Match Fund. It also seeks to amend the Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco (16-17-500) to make it illegal for youth to buy tobacco and imposes weak cigarette machine controls. The bill passed 3rd House reading and was sent to Senate where it sat in the Finance Committee for a year before going to and being being reported out of Medical Affairs on 3/30/04 after amendment.
03/19/03HouseH-3823 is introduced into Session 115 by Rep. Herbkersman to increase the licence tax on cigarettes to 2.65 cents per cigarette and is referred to the House Ways & Means Committee.
12/03/03HouseH-4435 is introduced into Session 115 by Representatives Kirsh, Owens, Vaughn and Stille seeking a 10 ½ mill tax on cigarette rolling papers and is referred to the House Ways & Means Committee.
1/20/04HouseRepresentatives Battle, M. Hines, Richardson and Martin introduce H-4572 into Session 115 seeking a new law to designate the Mullins Tobacco Museum as the official South Carolina Tobacco Museum. The bill flies through both houses in just 99 days and is signed into law by Governor Mark Sandford on 4/29/04. Question: where is our state's cotton, rice or indigo museum - crops that did not chemically enslave and kill our citizens? Will our state museum tell the whole truth or just that portion which romanticizes " nicotiana tabacum?" Will it also be a memorial to our hundreds of thousands of addicted neighbors who smoked themselves to death?
01/22/04HouseH-4593 is introduced as a Concurrent Resolution in Session 115 by Rep. Witherspoon commending the organizers of the South Carolina Tobacco Trail "created for the purpose of preserving and recognizing the agricultural history of our state's tobacco-growing region."
02/19/04HouseH-4817 is introduced into Session 115 by Representatives Scarborough, Hinson, Merrill, Hagood and Harvin to increase the minimum 16-17-500 youth access penalty to $1,000 with half of the fine to fund DHEC Youth Smoking Prevention. It's referred to the Judiciary Committee.
03/04/04HouseH-4905 in Session 115 seeks to add section 44-95-25 to the Clean Indoor Air Act making it illegal to smoke in a restaurant. It is sitting in the House Judiciary Committee.
03/17/04SenateS-1071 attaches the "Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act of 2003" to a financial identity fraud bill and the Senate version makes it through 3rd reading, is sent to the House where it is amended, receives 3rd reading, and is returned to Senate on 6/1/04. The bill raises the 16-17-500 minimum fine to $100, makes it illegal for minors to attempt to purchase tobacco and provides extremely loose controls over cigarette machines (family arcade o.k. if owner asserts that it will be under their "continuous control").
03/30/04HouseH-5044 is a Dept. of Health reorganization bill in which Senators Peeler, Moore, Hayes, Short, Ritchie proposed an amendment that included the Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act of 2003 during 2nd reading in the Senate. Senator Peeler explained the amendment and it was adopted. The Senate ordered 3rd reading with notice of amendment.
03/30/04HouseH-5045 is a Session 115 bill by Rep. G.M. Smith to amend 16-17-500 to create a maximum fine of $500 or sixty days in jail, to require retailers to train employees on the youth access law, revoking the right to sell tobacco upon third conviction, and to make it illegal for minors to attempt purchase tobacco. The bill lacks any cigarette machine provision and is sitting in the House Judiciary Committee.

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The production and display of these pages have no association with any other person, organization or entity other the author identified below who assumes full and exclusive responsibility for its content, including potential errors. The author has relied upon the campaign contribution disclosure records at, on a small sampling of the 33 million tobacco industry documents at, on additional industry documents from Legacy Tobacco Documents Library and on the legislative records at Any error will be immediately corrected upon receipt of notice. The author invites suggestions and/or assistance in enhancing the value of this resource and in further searching the millions of online tobacco industry documents in order to more deeply develop the relationship between our elected officials and an industry feeding upon them.

John R. Polito

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This page was created on July 30, 2004 and reformatted August 19, 2018 by John R. Polito