Act *NOW* to save essential tobacco control funding!

Call or email your legislators NOW to protect the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program’s budget from cuts… and to push for a badly-needed increase in funding for the program!

House and Senate Conference Committee members are meeting to discuss differences in their respective budgets. The Conference Committee members are: House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz and Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues; Rep. Denise Garlick, Rep. Todd Smola, Senator Cindy Friedman, and Senator Vinny deMacedo.

Please contact *your* Representative and Senator NOW to ask them urge the Conference Committee to fund the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP) at the House’s level of $4,618,872, which is a $300,000 increase over the current fiscal year.  MTCP needs this funding urgently. If the Senate’s proposed $100,000 cut to the program goes through, MTCP would need to eliminate key programming. With Juul and other flavored e-cigarettes heavily targeting young people, schools and parents are calling for more help. MTCP needs more funding to meet these challenges, not less! Communities are also turning to MTCP for guidance on cannabis’ impact on the Smokefree Workplace Law, and more support is needed to help individuals trying to quit smoking as they struggle with other addictions.

These two calls combined will take you  less than five minutes, but they will make a huge impact. Once you’ve made your calls, please ask your friends, frenemies, and colleagues to call in as well.  This is a critical moment to save MTCP’s FY 2020 funding.

TALKING POINTS:

Call your representative and senator now.  Here’s what you could say:

  • “I’m calling to ask that Representative/Senator _______________ ask the Conference Committee to fund the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program at the House’s proposed level in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
  • The funding in line item 4590-0300 should be $4,618,872.
  • This will allow the tobacco control program to educate parents and other adults about e-cigarettes, Juul and other emerging products, provide more enforcement of local tobacco laws protecting youth, and work more effectively to help all smokers quit.

IF YOUR REP OR SENATOR IS ON THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE, say this instead:  “I’m calling to ask that Representative/Senator _______________ use her/his position on the Conference Committee to ensure that the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program is funded at the House’s proposed level in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

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.

BACKGROUND:

MTCP is the state’s tobacco control program and is critical to the fight against tobacco in Massachusetts. It implements and enforces laws, funds local boards of health and community organizations to do enforcement and education, runs the state’s quitline, produces ads and materials educating about tobacco and nicotine, and provides surveillance and evaluation for tobacco issues, including the rise in e-cigarette use among young people.

Contact your state Rep and Senator TODAY and tell them that we need to increase Massachusetts’ ability to respond to the changing face of tobacco!