Act NOW to fight tobacco lobbyists’ pressure!

Tobacco lobbyists are out in force at the State House and they’re rallying convenience store owners with dire, false, warnings of plummeting profits and store closures.  The tobacco industry’s goal is to weaken or kill the flavored tobacco sales ban legislation.  Their voices are loud and they’re being heard.  We need to be louder.

Please call or email your State Representative and Senator and ask them to ask their Ways and Means Chair to bring the FULL bill to the floor for a vote and to do it BEFORE the break on November 20.  Then, please send this to your contact list and urge everyone you know to contact their legislators!

I really can’t underscore the importance of getting our voice up there in the next few days.  The tobacco industry’s voice is very loud right now.

Call or email your representative and senator ASAP, but definitely this week.  Here’s what you could say:

  • FOR YOUR REP: I’m calling to ask that Representative _______________ support House Bill 4089, Representative Danielle Gregiore’s Act Regulating Flavored Tobacco Products with no changes.  Please ask Ways and Means Chairman Michlewitz to report the bill out of committee ASAP and ask Speaker DeLeo to take up the bill before the break.
  • FOR YOUR SENATOR: I’m calling to ask that Senator _______________ support Senate Bill 2357, Senator John Keenan’s Act Regulating Flavored Tobacco Products with no changes.  Please ask Ways and Means Chairman Rodrigues to report the bill out of committee ASAP and ask Senate President Spilka to take up the bill before the break.
  • This isn’t about profits for businesses.  This is about protecting our kids from becoming addicted. To protect ALL of our kids, we must ban ALL flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars and mint chewing tobacco.
  • I don’t want ANY flavored tobacco product to be sold in our state, not flavored JUUL, not menthol cigarettes—none of it.

Find your legislators and their contact info here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator.  Calling is quick and usually makes more of an impact, but you can also email the same message.

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS BY THE END OF THIS WEEK.  AND PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.

BACKGROUND:

  • Legislation to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products was voted favorably out of committee and is in the House and Senate’s Ways and Means Committees.  Currently, the bill bans the sale of ALL flavored tobacco products—including mint/menthol/wintergreen flavors, and e-cigarettes as well as flavored traditional combustible cigarettes, cigars, and chew tobacco.  The tobacco industry is trying to convince our legislators to allow mint/menthol/wintergreen products to be sold and to only include e-cigarettes in the legislation.  Considering that young people prefer mint/menthol JUUL and menthol cigarettes, this is a very bad idea.
  • Menthol is a flavor, but it is also a numbing agent, allowing the smoker to inhale more deeply and become more addicted.
  • Menthol cigarettes are targeted at kids. 54% of high school students that smoke use menthol cigarettes.
  • Over 90% of African American youth who smoke use menthol cigarettes. That’s because the industry has targeted them specifically with menthol, a more addictive product. 
  • Menthol increases the absorption of nicotine into mouth tissues.  The faster the nicotine absorption, the more addicted the user becomes.
  • Menthol makes it harder to quit.  Menthol cigarettes are more addictive and may be more dangerous. Studies from the FDA and other scientific entities conclude that menthol cigarettes are associated with increased nicotine dependence and reduced success in quitting smoking.
  • New flavored products like Zyn are hitting the market and becoming popular in schools.  They’re strong, flavored, hi-tech, and they’re not vapes.  We can only protect kids from the new flavored products if we ban the sale of ALL flavored tobacco products!