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Home About The Center News & Events 12th Annual S.M.A.R.T. Physicals Event

12th Annual S.M.A.R.T. Physicals Event


Columbia, SC. (May 2, 2013) — It is estimated that over 21 percent of all male high school students in the state are users of smokeless or spit tobacco and nearly 5,900 South Carolinian under the age of 18 become new daily smokers each year. In an effort to help ignite a tobacco-free nation, Delta Dental of South Carolina teamed up with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine to educate student athletes on the harmful effects tobacco use can have on oral and overall health during the free S.M.A.R.T. physicals administered this past weekend at the Palmetto Health-USC Family Medicine Center.

The students came from 48 area high schools, prep schools and middle schools in Richland, Lexington, Orangeburg, Newberry, Lee and Fairfield counties. During their visit to the center, athletes were provided facts and other information about the negative impact of tobacco use. Each was also invited to sign a tobacco-free pledge, acknowledging that they do not use tobacco and outlining their willingness to advocate no-smoking and no-chewing lifestyle choices among their friends and peers.

"Of the 1,440 student athletes who received free sports physicals here today, 1,392 of them made a pledge during this event to be tobacco-free," said Jeffrey Guy, M.D., assistant professor of clinical orthopedic surgery at USC School Medicine. "We are pleased with this turnout and also with the fact that these young athletes were provided with not only a physical so they can play in the school sports programs, but also that we could provide information to help them make better choices for their health and athletic performance in the future."

Delta Dental of South Carolina launched its #TobaccoFreeSC program at this event with USC Sports Medicine because of the known links between tobacco use and poor oral health.


Tobacco Free Pledge

First and Final ADD

“Smoking and chewing tobacco stains teeth and is a known cause of oral cancer,” commented Spann Laffitte, vice president of sales and account management at Delta Dental of South Carolina. “We are proud of those who made the tobacco-free pledge at the S.M.A.R.T. event. They made a commitment that does more than set a positive example for their peers; it’s a healthy lifestyle choice that will aid in the establishment of a clean, healthy, well-maintained mouth and overall health and wellness – which is something to smile about.”

Laffitte added, “We would like to extend a special thank you to USC Sports Medicine and Dr. Jeff Guy for allowing Delta Dental to be a part of this fantastic event.”

Each student who signed a tobacco-free pledge received a free water bottle and was entered into a drawing for a limited edition print of the 2011 USC football team signed by Marcus Lattimore.  A student from Chapin High School was the lucky winner of the print. Those in attendance were also encouraged to join the conversation about the importance of being tobacco-free on Twitter using #TobaccoFreeSC.

To learn more about tobacco use and the impact it has on oral health and overall health, visit Delta Dental’s microsite,




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