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Fight against efforts to repeal or weaken Massachusetts' strong state and local tobacco laws.

The tobacco industry uses lobbyists, lawyers, and disinformation campaigns to try to weaken tobacco laws.

On the state level, tobacco industry lobbyists have prowled the State House for decades, working to prevent tobacco control legislation--and when that fails, to weaken our laws. They fund trade associations and local organizations to speak on their behalf, spreading misinformation and stoking fear.

Tobacco companies also use sponsorships, donations, ads, and paid media to spread their propaganda and to attempt to polish their image.  Sponsorships and donations allow tobacco companies to earn good media for doing something positive for a community--even when the amount of money they give is small in comparison to the amount they spend publicizing the gift.

Advertisements and paid media (including sponsored content) give the companies the chance to spread their messages without the burden of fact.  Sponsored content is a particularly problematic type of paid media because it appears to be journalism but is really just purely tobacco industry messaging.

Local officials are also familiar with tobacco industry representatives showing up at local meetings, testifying against public health measures and threatening lawsuits.

These efforts to undermine strong policies governing tobacco are nothing new in Massachusetts, but they are growing more subtle and sophisticated.  We anticipate spending more time fighting these efforts in the coming years.

Status of this priority issue

Two bills were filed this session that would exempt products like heated cigarettes from the new law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. Another bill would prohibit local boards of health from regulating tobacco products. We are watching this legislation and will alert members if any of it gains traction.

The Boston Globe has been running sponsored content from Philip Morris.  We have contacted the Globe multiple times and asked them to stop; in 1999, the paper had taken a stand against running tobacco advertisements.

The Boston Globe's editorial staff (separate from its advertising department) ran an Op Ed about the tobacco industry's image polishing and the bad bills that were filed.  Sen. John Keenan and Rep. Danielle Gregoire, who sponsored the flavored tobacco legislation, wrote a letter to the editor reaffirming the Legislature's commitment to protecting the landmark tobacco legislation.

We are fighting the harmful bills and watching for others that would weaken tobacco control laws.  We remain extremely concerned about the misinformation the Globe is publishing for pay.

Tell the Globe's CEO to stop publishing Philip Morris' lies!  Click on the button below for an action alert--and spread the word!

Click here to take Action!


The tobacco industry is well-funded, tenacious, and continues to be active in Massachusetts. It works to make its products appear harmless and acceptable through pervasive marketing, maintaining a strong presence in communities, manipulating small businesses, and influencing decision-makers.

We commit to monitoring tobacco industry activity and countering its actions.



Tobacco Free Mass

PO Box 380944

Cambridge, MA  02238


(617) 500-3449


tobaccofreema@gmail.com

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