"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything." - William Shakespeare

Congratulations to the youth of The 84 Movement! The 2023 Kick Butts Day (KBD) event held at the State House was a tremendous success! It brought out Kate Walsh, Secretary of Health and Human Services, 124 youth, 29 adult advisors and 25 Chapters. Thank you to the TFM who participated to support the youth, help them train and accompany them on their legislative visits. TFM members went on over 25 legislative visits and packets with TFM legislative priorities were dropped off to all legislators.

TFM Legislative Priorities

An Act Providing Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Cessation Programs           The Massachusetts health care reform law mandated tobacco cessation coverage for the Massachusetts Medicaid population. Sen. Jason Lewis and Rep. Christine Barber filed bills that would increase access to tobacco cessation counseling by expanding who is reimbursed for providing cessation coverage.

H.1169 (Rep. Barber) and S.768 (Sen. Lewis) 


An Act Protecting Youth from Nicotine Addiction                                              Sen. John Keenan and Rep. Decker filed bills that would increase the cigarette excise tax by $1.00 from $3.51 to $4.5 and raises the tax on cigars from 40% of wholesale to 80% of wholesale.

H.2763 (Rep. Decker) and S.1848 (Sen. Keenan) 

Establishing Sustainable Funding for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Programs     

To help save lives, it is critical for sustainable funding for state tobacco    prevention and cessation programs to reach levels that meet or exceed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations. Click here to read more.

News you can use

  • A March 29, 2023 article published in BMJ Journals entitled, Playtime: vaping devices designed as cartoons and toys may appeal to kids” shows that vaping device manufacturers have become more creative with the design of their vaping devices. Recent designs include those that resemble miniature toys.  These include soda bottles, snow cones and popsicles.

  • Exploring the Tobacco Endgame – Implications for Behavioral Health. On March 7, 2023, the National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco and Cancer Control at the National Council for Mental Wellbeing held a webinar, that is now archived, to increase your understanding of tobacco endgame and its importance in ensuring optimal health outcomes for people with mental health and substance use (MH/SU) challenges.  Individuals with MH/SU challenges consume up to 40% of tobacco products and experience tobacco – related disparities, making them a priority population to consider in strategizing the tobacco endgame. 

  • On March 29th Congressional Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Veterans’ Health Representatives Brad Wenstrup and Lauren Underwood and Senators Dick Durbin and Susan Collins introduced legislation that would protect the ability of our nation’s veterans to breathe smoke-free air at health facilities managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The legislation would repeal an antiquated 1992 law that requires the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to furnish and maintain designated indoor or outdoor smoking areas.  Supported by the VA, the bill would bring the Department in line with smoke-free policies across the federal government and in the private health care system.

  • A CDC poll, published on February 2nd, shows that there is support for policies to end the sale of all tobacco products. Nearly two-thirds of adults supported prohibiting menthol cigarette sales, while more than half of adults supported prohibiting all tobacco product sales.

Menthol and Flavored Products

  • The American Lung Association sent a letter to Rep. Ayanna Pressley, signed on by many TFM partners, showing strong support of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposal to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. The FDA’s proposal will have a profound impact on reducing youth tobacco use, preventing tobacco caused disease and saving lives. 

  • The following states are in good company as they work towards banning the sale of flavored tobacco products including menthol flavored cigarettes. During the 2023 legislative sessions, Vermont (H204), Oregon (HB 3090), Maryland (SB 259), Hawaii (HB 551), New Mexico (HB 0094), New York (A 3907), and Indiana (HB 1133) introduced legislation to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products including menthol flavored cigarettes. New Jersey proposed multiples bills including a strict ban on menthol cigarettes (A 4120), a ban on menthol cigarettes and ENDS products (S 2667), and a ban on using menthol cigarettes and flavored substances for hookah (A 1989).


  • May 31st is World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what World Health Organization (WHO) is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations. The theme of WNTD 2023 is “Grow food, not tobacco”.  According to the WHO, tobacco growing harms our health, the health of farmers and the health of the planet. The tobacco industry interferes with attempts to substitute tobacco growing, contributing to the global food crisis. This WNTD campaign encourages governments to end tobacco growing subsidies and use the savings to support farmers to switch to more sustainable crops that improve food security and nutrition. 
  • The Tobacco Online Policy Seminar (TOPS) 2023 Spring Series Schedule offers free access to live seminars on tobacco policy from respected researchers. View schedule and registration here.


The Nomination Committee announced that Dr. Henry L. Dorkin was voted in as Vice Chair for TFM at the March 2nd Quarterly full Coalition meeting and has accepted the position.  Active in organized medicine, Dr. Dorkin continues a long history of addressing medical issues, including public health advocacy and testimony at both the State and Federal levels. Dr. Dorkin was elected an officer, ultimately President (2017-18) of the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) as well as Chairman of its Board of Trustees. 

Tobacco Free Mass Meetings

The link to the meeting summary for the March 2nd Quarterly full Coalition Meeting.

Mark your calendar, the next TFM Full Coalition and Advocacy Committee meetings are the first Thursday in March.

April 13th – Advocacy Committee meeting from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM on Zoom. To attend the meeting, just register, just click this link.

May 11th - Executive Committee meeting from 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM on Zoom. The link will be sent to you prior to the meeting.

Thank you,


Lisa Phillips

Tobacco Coalition Director

m: (617) 795-4129

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