State of South Carolina Request for Proposal Tobacco Prevention Marketing

SUBMIT OFFER BY (Opening Date/Time): 09/27/2023 11:00:00 ET 



COMMERCIAL TOBACCO: retail tobacco products (does not include traditional tobacco used in Tribal communities for sacred, spiritual, and/or medicinal purposes)

EVIDENCE-BASED INTERVENTIONS: Interventions that are shown, by evidence, to reduce commercial tobacco use and promote quitting. Accessible from the CDC at AND MARKETING: The use of television, radio, and print ads and commercials; celebrity/influencer endorsement; movie placements; price promotions; free sampling; branded events; and nontobacco merchandise to reach specific audiences.

COUNTER MARKETING: The use of media and marketing tactics to combat pro-tobacco influences, increase pro-health messages, and reduce the prevalence of commercial tobacco use in communities statewide.

MASS REACH COMMUNICATIONS INTERVENTIONS: traditional and digital media channels (television, radio, outof-home, print, internet/mobile, and social media advertising), as well as promotions through public relations, press releases/conferences, organic/unpaid social media, print materials, data sharing/infographics, fact sheets, webpages, and local events.

SOCIAL MARKETING: a practice that seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches, to influence behaviors that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good. It seeks to integrate research, best practice, and theory as well as audience and partnership insight.

AUDIENCE SEGMENTATION: marketing strategy based on identifying subgroups within the focus audience in order to deliver more tailored messaging and build stronger connections.

FOCUS AUDIENCE: the group a program or intervention is designed to reach.

DISPARATE: groups at higher risk from either using commercial tobacco products or who are at a higher risk of becoming ill or dying from commercial tobacco-related illness.

EVALUATION: process used to assess the implementation and outcomes of a program, increase efficiency and impact over time, and demonstrate accountability.

CESSATION: quitting current commercial tobacco use (includes the use of counseling, behavior therapy, telephone Quitlines, medicines, and nicotine-replacement products, such as nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal sprays)

YOUTH COMMERCIAL TOBACCO PREVENTION: preventing the initiation of commercial tobacco use by youth (stopping them from starting).

SECONDHAND SMOKE: smoke exhaled by smokers or from burning tobacco products.

VAPING AEROSOL: toxins emitted and exhaled when vaping or using Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ecigarettes)

TOBACCO OR TOBACCO USE: use of commercial tobacco products, which may include cigarettes, smokeless tobacco (chew, dip), cigars, cigarillos, little cigars, snus, bidis, kreteks, e-cigarettes (ENDS), pipes, hookah or dissolvable products.

ELECTRONIC NICOTINE DELIVERY SYSTEM: electronic vaping products (EVPs) such as e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, epipes and e-cigars are devices that deliver aerosolized nicotine, flavorings, and/or other chemicals into the lungs of users.

SYNTHETIC NICOTINE: created in a laboratory and not derived from tobacco; often promoted as “tobacco-free”

NICOTINE SALTS: nicotine salts have a lower pH than freebase nicotine and allow particularly high levels of nicotine to be inhaled more easily and with less irritation to the throat than freebase nicotine

HEAT-NOT-BURN TOBACCO PRODUCTS: electronic devices that contain tobacco and are heated to a high temperature, without setting it alight and creating ‘smoke’ that the user sucks in. These products contain nicotine, additives and are often flavored

SURVEILLANCE: the process of continually monitoring attitudes, behaviors, and health outcomes over time.

SUSCEPTIBILITY: likelihood of being influenced or harmed

YOUTH: young people ages 13-18.

EMERGING TOBACCO PRODUCTS: new commercial tobacco products increasing in trend use, like e-cigarettes, hookah, snus, etc. There is increasing concern that the use of newer tobacco products may catalyze transition to the use of other tobacco products, particularly in young adults.


The following features will be provided by the Contractor for effective youth commercial tobacco prevention media, marketing, and outreach services, as well as the professional services expected to be a part of implementing and providing ongoing support and maintenance of these services. The Contractor shall:

1. Create, develop, implement, and evaluate one or more evidence-based or best practice-based counter marketing effort specific to SC teens (ages 13-18) that includes campaign materials and creative assets aligned with social marketing strategies designed to reach the focus population segments (identified through recent Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control surveillance efforts, including the segmentation data collected on the at-risk youth population statewide). All elements under this effort should be specific to SC teens and promote quitting, prevent

initiation, and reduce overall commercial tobacco use and must be able to reach Hispanic/Latino youth (both English and Spanish speaking).

2. Create, develop, implement, and evaluate one or more mass media campaign(s) that includes materials and creative assets aligned with social marketing strategies aimed at audience subgroups identified through segmentation data as being at-risk youth populations for tobacco use (Urban, Alternative, and LGBTQ for example). This includes developing, licensing, acquiring and implementing all campaign components necessary to ensure a successful implementation and may or may not include commercials, videos, images, digital media, displays print materials and promotional materials used on interactive websites, social media channels, mobile apps, paid digital media sites, traditional media placement, outreach at local events, etc. The Contractor must:

a. Demonstrate a theoretical framework for behavior change utilizing relevant, informed messaging that

uses creative, authentic channels to break the association between commercial tobacco use and the

cultural norms of this audience.

b. Conduct message testing with SC teen focus groups to ensure all messages are framed for the highest

impact within the target audience.

c. Conduct strong evaluation. All media, marketing, and outreach efforts should be planned around a

central evaluation that is laid out at the beginning of the contract. Reports will be provided monthly

to Tobacco Division staff to include analytics, media metrics, and raw data (if requested). Evaluation

plans should be built on the front end and allow the Tobacco Division to ensure that all efforts are

measurable and that they tie back into the Division’s overall mission and programmatic goals. The

Contractor will demonstrate knowledge of process and outcome evaluation measures, public health

goals and objectives, and logic models.

d. Present a full report of campaign strategy, messaging overview, audience, communication channel,

metrics, key findings, and summary for each campaign implemented.

3. Create, develop, implement, and evaluate materials and creative assets aligned with direct experiential strategies aimed at audience subgroups identified through segmentation as being at-risk youth populations (Urban, Alternative, and LGBTQ for example). These engagement strategies should coordinate seamlessly with all designed mass media campaigns.

4. Use market research, analysis and the current literature in social marketing and communications to create a media plan at the beginning of each contract year. The media plan will include a timeline, planned media components (both media campaign and experiential), thorough evaluation to be conducted by the Contractor, and other strategic elements. There are no specified tactics for strategies—it is up to the Contractor to demonstrate efficiency and efficacy of suggested strategies.

5. Create, develop, implement, promote and/or evaluate one customized Youth Vaping Cessation Initiative(s) for SC youth who wish to quit utilizing evidence-based change theory and best practice strategies. Conduct strong evaluation of the initiative to include analytics, metrics, and raw data (if requested) with findings summarized in a final report.

6. As needed, develop materials and creative assets to support cessation, secondhand smoke or vaping aerosol exposure prevention, surveillance and evaluation, or tobacco-related disparities for youth or adult audiences to provide continuity and support the overall goals and objectives of the Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control.

For this requirement, the Contractor will be compensated on an hourly basis, and total hours will be agreed upon by the Contractor and State. See Pricing Spreadsheet, HOURLY RATE FOR TOBACCO PREVENTION MARKETING SERVICES.

7. Ensure coordination with the appropriate Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control and/or other DHEC staff regarding all tobacco-related issues. Facilitate approval on all creative platform and collateral items utilized in the program within the timeline established by the agency. DHEC must be allowed to collaborate on the production of all materials/creative assets and actively participate/be cited in any submission for awards, abstracts, and conferences.

8. Not enter into affiliation with tobacco, vaping, or marijuana industries for the duration of the contract.

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