In 2008 will the politicians do what's right for the State of South Carolina??

January 21, 2008 - Tobacco Friendly South Carolina is considering a series of measures that would ban smoking in indoor, public places, increase the lowest cigarette tax in the nation (now 7 cents per pack) and prohibit adults from lighting up in cars when children are riding along. The proposals may be in for a bumpy ride with big tobacco spending big bucks in the state legislature over the past two years as the debate over cigarette taxes and statewide smoking bans kicked into high gear. "South Carolina considering cigarette tax hike, smoking bans"The Associated Press, 1/16/2008) Three industry groups spent a total of at least $785,000 between June 2005 and the end of the last with legislative session in June 2007. To please tobacco interests several lawmakers filed bills aimed at nullifying the bans by preempting local governments' right to enact the laws. Some lawmakers also tried to cut a break for smokers and create a smoking permit that would allow restaurants or bars to continue to allow smoking for as little as $100. ( "Tobacco groups have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying and contributions to lawmakers as the debate over taxes and bans has ignited" by Tim Donnelly, 1/21/2008) South Carolina did pass the The Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act of 2006 (Section 16-17-500, as amended, Code of Laws of SC, 1976), effective August 21, 2006 that states that youth under the age of 18 years must not purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, or attempt to possess a tobacco product, or present or offer proof of age that is false or fraudulent for the purpose of purchasing or possessing a tobacco product. A minor who violates this provision may be subject to penalties including a civil fine up to $25, to include all applicable court costs, assessments, and surcharges. (Tobacco Prevention and Control) Click on image to enlarge..