Environmental Strategies



Developed to monitor the levels of youth access to tobacco products in the retail setting through nationwide compliance checks, the project has provided substantial additional benefits through increases in the awareness and compliance of tobacco merchants. The program has been successful in reducing the access of underage youth to purchasing tobacco products in retail establishments in Beaufort County from 66.3% in 1994 to 18% in 2010.



The department provides retailer and server education through PREP (Palmetto Retailers Education Program) developed by Circle Park Behavioral Health Services(Florence County's alcohol and drug abuse authority) and LRADAC, The Behavioral Health Center of the Midlands. The program is designed to modify the environment in which tobacco products and alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed.

The PREP curriculum helps reduce underage access to alcohol and tobacco products in our communities, while also lowering the liability risks for businesses and their employees. The curriculum provides managers and servers/ sellers with the knowledge and skills to comply with established alcohol and tobacco policies, and to avoid the potential consequences of failing to comply with those policies.

The two and a half hour session covers many relevant issues, including: alcohol and tobacco laws and consequences, checking IDs, Fake IDs, handling difficult situations, cutting off service, and reducing liability of employees and businesses. The PREP merchant education program is approved by the SC Dept. of Revenue and the SC Dept. of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services.