Tobacco Free Mass is a privately-funded coalition that advocates for funding and policies that support tobacco prevention and cessation and the reduction of exposure to secondhand smoke. The coalition was formed in 1991 to pass Question One, which raised the state’s tobacco excise tax to fund, in part, the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program and other public health initiatives.
The Coalition continues to advocate for funding and policies to reduce death and disease caused by tobacco use. Tobacco Free Mass carries out its mission with the help of more than fifty member organizations and 10,000 grassroots advocates from across the Commonwealth.
A Snapshot of Tobacco Free Mass’ Policy Achievements:
2016: Worked to support legislation that would ban the sale of tobacco in pharmacies, regulate e-cigarettes, and raise the age of sale for tobacco from 18 to 21.
2015: Worked to support passage of Tobacco 21 legislation and regulations to ban e- cigarettes to minors.
2014: Provided technical assistance to seven Massachusetts college campuses to go Smoke-free.
2013: Increased excise tax on cigarettes to $3.51, raised the tax on cigars from 30% to 40%, and raised the tax on OTP from 90% to 210% of wholesale.
2012: MassHealth smoking cessation benefit extended to state subsidized Commonwealth Care Health Insurance Program.
2011: Massachusetts casino law assured all gaming facilities will be 100% smoke-free.
2008: $1.00/pack cigarette tax increase, again working in partnership with health care access advocates dedicating revenue for Health Reform.
2008: MassHealth smoking cessation benefit made permanent in Governor’s FY 2009 budget proposal
2006: Pilot program signed into law that allows MassHealth subscribers access to free or low-cost pharmacotherapy, nicotine replacement products, and counseling
2005: MassHealth coverage of smoking cessation for pregnant women and mothers with children under age three
2004: Enactment of a law making Massachusetts workplaces 100% smoke-free
2003: Assisted multiple cities and towns to pass and sustain smoke-free workplace regulations, including the cities of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville
2002: $.75 cigarette tax increase, working in partnership with health care access advocates funding health insurance for children and a senior pharmacy benefit
1999: A law committing all of Massachusetts tobacco settlement revenues to public health and tobacco control programs, with over $22.8 million from tobacco settlement revenues going to tobacco control programs in Fiscal Year 2000
1998: The defeat of a Massachusetts Restaurant Association-backed bill that would have set a low threshold for restaurant smoking regulations and prevented local authorities from passing tougher regulations
1997: A law making Massachusetts the first state in the nation to divest all state pension fund holdings in tobacco stocks
1997: A law requiring the Massachusetts State House to be completely smoke-free
1996: The Tolman Disclosure Law, which requires cigarette companies to report their products ingredients and true nicotine yield ratings to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
1992: Passage of the Question One ballot initiative that placed a $.25 per pack tax on cigarettes and dedicated a portion of the revenue to the creation of the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program