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DHEC’s Upstate Region Health Departments to Offer Free Information, Resources for Quitting Smoking in Support of Great American Smokeout

Nov. 16, 2022

GREENVILLE, S.C. ― Staff with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) Upstate region are supporting the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on Nov. 17 by educating health department visitors about the risks of tobacco use. The Great American Smokeout (GASO) is a national event to raise awareness about the many benefits of quitting smoking, vaping/e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco products.

From 10 a.m.-noon Nov. 17, staff at DHEC health departments in Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg counties will be educating visitors about the harms of smoking and vaping and referring and enrolling people for free quit support from the SC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW). “Quit kits” will be available (while supplies last) to further support individuals who choose to enroll for SC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) services.

“The Great American Smokeout is an observance dedicated to encouraging and supporting people who want to quit using any kind of tobacco product. We specifically see a need in the Upstate to address the risks associated with e-cigarettes, which are becoming more and more popular, especially among young people,” said Misty Lee, Supervisor of DHEC's Upstate Community Outreach Resource Education Team. “People don’t realize that one vape pod can contain as much nicotine as a whole pack of cigarettes, and that the nicotine found in vapes affects both your mental and physical health.”  

The nicotine found in e-cigarettes/vape products can harm blood vessels. Studies also show that vaping can cause depression, difficulty concentrating and mood swings among youth. Smoking remains the leading cause of numerous cancers and does harm to nearly every organ in the body.  

DHEC data show 16.3% of adults living in the Upstate currently smoke cigarettes and 6.7% use e-cigarettes/vapes. Another 4.3% of Upstate adults are dual users, meaning they use cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Dual use of these products is a volatile combination that can produce greater harm than using either product alone.    

“Tobacco use contributes to cancer, hypertension, stroke, heart attack, diabetes and many other diseases and health issues,” Lee said. “Our goal is to connect people with free quit support services for all tobacco products. Having our local DHEC health departments be a home base for free, evidence-based tobacco cessation resources helps remove cost and access barriers and improve the overall health of our communities.”

Free quit support for all commercial tobacco products is available 24/7 (también disponible en español) from expert coaches at the SC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW y 1-855-DÉJELO-YA). The SC Tobacco Quitline offers free vaping cessation support through Live Vape Free. No insurance coverage is needed, and all support options are available either online or over the phone.

For more information, stop by a DHEC Upstate region health department between 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, Nov. 17, visit, or call the SC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW y 1-855-DÉJELO-YA). Learn more about the health risks of e-cigarettes/vaping here.  


DHEC Upstate health department staff support communities and partners with a variety of health services and initiatives designed to improve health and reduce disparities. Organizations or individuals interested in collaborating with their local health department should call 864-882-2245 or email