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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.

The Boston Globe is running paid newspaper articles written by Philip Morris International... here's what you can do about it.

Status of this priority issue

Several bills were filed this session that would exempt products like heated cigarettes from the new law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products--or repeal the menthol provision of the law altogether. Those bills were heard before the Joint Committee on Public Health on November 3, 2021. Tobacco Free Mass testified and also submitted written testimony. A bill that would exempt hookah from the flavor provision was heard a week later; TFM submitted written testimony.   Another bill would prohibit local boards of health from regulating tobacco products; it was heard on May 10, 2021; TFM submitted testimony. 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.

On October 30, Tobacco Free Mass' Chair and Vice Chair published an Op Ed in Commonwealth Magazine asking the Globe to honor its 1999 commitment and stop running Philip Morris ads.

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.

Click here to tell the Globe's CEO to stop!

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.

mailing address:

Tobacco Free Mass

PO Box 1701

Provincetown, MA 02657-5701

(617) 795-4129

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