Hi {Contact_First_Name}-- Here's the most recent monthly update from Tobacco Free Mass.



It's summer! The time of year things are supposed to slow down but never actually do.  This year is no exception!

  • Budget for the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP): At the end of July, Governor Baker signed the FY 2022 state budget, which includes an increase of $500,000 to the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program's line This brings funding for the state's tobacco control program to $5,618,793 in the coming fiscal year.
This is the fourth consecutive year that you and your fellow advocates have convinced the legislature to increase the program's line and fund the fight against tobacco in our Commonwealth. As COVID-19 lays bare the health inequities in our state, the need for this funding is more important than ever.  Thank you for speaking up and making a difference.
  • Cigarette and Cigar Tax: Sen. Hariette Chandler and Rep. Marjorie Decker filed bills that would increase the cigarette tax by $1.00 and increase the cigar tax from 40% to 80% of wholesale. Increases in tobacco prices through taxes have been shown to decrease tobacco use, especially among young people.
  • Closing MassHealth cessation benefit loophole: Sen. Jason Lewis and Rep. Christine Barber filed bills that would expand access to tobacco cessation counseling by allowing new categories of professionals to bill MassHealth for tobacco cessation, including dentists, behavioral and mental health counselors, and certified tobacco use cessation counselors.

    Philip Morris is polishing its image... and the Globe is helping.

    The Boston Globe has been running sponsored content from Philip Morris.  We have contacted the Globe multiple times and asked them to stop, reminding them that 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 how it impacts legislation.  Sen. John Keenan and Rep. Danielle Gregoire, who sponsored the successful flavored tobacco law, wrote a letter to the editor reaffirming the Legislature's commitment to protecting the landmark tobacco legislation.

    We remain extremely concerned about this situation. We will send information to members soon about how to help convince the Globe to stop serving as a mouthpiece for Philip Morris' misinformation.

    Save the date! TFM's Policy Forum is November 30.

    Tobacco Free Mass' annual policy forum will examine the tobacco industry's shadowy efforts to influence tobacco policy in Massachusetts. From image-polishing to intimidation, there's plenty to discuss. More details and an opportunity to register will be coming in late September!

    For now, please spread the word and save the date: November 30, 2021 from 10:00 am to noon. This will be a hybrid event, with the option of attending in person at the Massachusetts Medical Society or on Zoom.

    Calling all health care providers!

    MTCP would like to hear from all medical, dental, and behavioral health providers.  The tobacco program is conducting an important survey to better understand knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline, current clinical screening, and referral practices for tobacco treatment.

    The provider-only survey takes just a few minutes to complete. All responses are confidential, and participation is completely voluntary. No names or other identifiers are collected as part of the survey.

    Take the survey by clicking on the button below:

    Take the health care provider survey.

    News you can use

      Quitting for the younger set

      • Facts. No Filters. is MTCP's new vaping education campaign that gives young people facts about the dangers of vaping, tips to help them talk to friends, and resources to quit. Learn more at mass.gov/vaping and @GetTheVapeFacts on Instagram. Free printed handouts are available if you want to promote it IRL!

      • The American Academy of Pediatrics has released Youth Tobacco Cessation: Considerations for Clinicians, a brief, practical guide designed to support pediatric health clinicians in screening patients for tobacco use and providing behavioral and pharmacological support to help youth quit. The resource uses an easy, 3-step model, “Ask-Counsel-Treat (ACT),” to guide clinical interactions around cessation.

      • Researchers from UMass Medical School’s Department of Population & Quantitative Health Sciences are developing a mobile device-based "Vaper to Vaper" program that involves peer messaging and coaching to help adolescents quit using e-cigarettes.

      • Tailored, interactive text messages improved quit rates among young adults using e-cigarettes, a randomized trial in JAMA Internal Medicine reported. 

        Upcoming Tobacco Free Mass Meetings

        Can't wait to see you at our upcoming meetings! Remember, we'll meet remotely for the foreseeable future.

        September 9 – Full Coalition meeting from 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM on Zoom. To attend the meeting, you must register, which you can do with this link.

        September 9 – Advocacy Committee meeting immediately following the Full Coalition meeting from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM on Zoom. To attend the meeting, you must register, which you can do with this link.

        Download TFM's Meeting Calendar for 2021

        The next meeting of the Massachusetts Collaborative for Tobacco Recovery is on September 23, from 1:00-2:30, on Zoom. For more information on this group or to be added to their mailing list, please contact Annegret (annegretklaua@healthrecovery.org) or Kimberley (kimberley.warsett@state.ma.us).

        Thank you, Melissa!

        Melissa Stacy, ACS CAN's Grassroots Manager, was the quiet superpower in so much of the work Tobacco Free Mass has done over the past few years.  Melissa managed social media campaigns, designed and organized information drops at the State House, put together advocacy events, and was a brilliant, tireless advocate who was just plain fun to work with. Why the past tense? Melissa left ACS CAN this summer for a new position.  We are very sad but wish her well!

        And, not coincidentally, ACS CAN is looking for a new Grassroots Manager... 

        It's still summer!

        It ain't over till the crispy leaves fly.  Don't focus on the things that don't matter--get out there and enjoy it!  Summer days are as fleeting as watermelons on Mars (for real, this time).


        Gwendolyn StewartExecutive Director

        Tobacco Free Mass

        PO Box 380944

        Cambridge, MA  02238

        m: (617) 500-3449

        Feel like procrastinating?

        Make it productive by following us on social media:

        This message was sent to you by Tobacco Free Mass.  If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe at any time by emailing Gwen Stewart.