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Summer 2020 Newsletter: Quitting Commercial Tobacco is More Important Than Ever

July 15, 2020

The health of our communities is top of mind as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic. You can take proactive steps to ensure South Dakotans not only understand the health risks associated with tobacco use, but are empowered to kick the habit.

An illustration depicting COVID in the lungs

COVID-19 places people who smoke or vape at increased risk

We learn more about COVID-19 every day.

As new information becomes available, it’s important to be aware of the increased risk of severe illness or complications for people with certain medical conditions including:

  • COPD, diabetes, or asthma
  • Current or former smokers
  • Pregnant women

There has never been a better time for tobacco users to quit. Everyone needs to protect their health by avoiding use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, during the current health crisis.

You can refer anyone (13 or older) who needs help quitting to the SD QuitLine. They can call 1-866-SD-Quits or go online:

Learn more about the risks.

The Find Your Power Toolkit is LIVE online!

Explore the new Canli Coalition Tribal Advocacy Toolkit.

This incredible digital resource provides everything you need to educate, inspire, and promote tobacco and vape free policies in your community. Use these customizable tools and ideas in your ongoing public health work.

Check out the Spring Institute Archive

If you missed the Spring Institute in March, you can still get caught up on all of the great presentations.

View the materials.

Alarming Facts: Vape is on the rise

E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco products among youth in the United States.

The Surgeon General continues to emphasize the dangers of youth vaping and urge parents, educators, and healthcare professionals to work together to stop the epidemic. Add these facts to your arsenal when talking to teens and others about vaping:

The Surgeon General warns that:

  • vaping leads to a lifetime of nicotine addiction and health problems
  • two thirds of young people don’t know that vape products like JUUL contain nicotine
  • because it’s easy to inhale, vaping is a dangerous gateway to nicotine addiction

Please share these core messages with the youth, young adults, and parents you work with:

  • Vape is NOT harmless and is NOT a safe alternative to smoking.
  • Most products contain concentrated nicotine – which is extremely addictive – and especially dangerous for young people.
  • Nicotine causes irreversible damage to developing brains in people under 25.
  • Products like JUUL deliver nicotine nearly 3x faster than other e-cigarette devices, making it easy for addiction to sneak up on you.
  • Vape users are 4x more likely to start smoking.
  • SD QuitLine services are available to vape and tobacco users ages 13 and older. All services are free of charge.

Tobacco 21 is on the books!

On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, raising the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.

In February 2020, the South Dakota Legislature followed suit, passing House Bill 1063. Governor Noem signed the bill into law in March 2020, raising the legal age to purchase any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes – from 18 to 21.

Major kudos to our legislators and everyone who worked to get this law on the books in South Dakota!

Keep in touch

The SD Tobacco Control Program welcomes your feedback. If you have questions about media efforts, need help sharing, or want more information: