"The health of our children is not a partisan issue. Tobacco use and drug use are not separate issues. As a cancer surgeon, I can assure you that they are very closely linked, since nicotine is a drug as addictive as other abused drugs, and tobacco is its delivery system." - Blake Cady, MD (CTFK, 1996)

  TFM Legislative Priorities

  • Budget for the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP): Last week, Governor Healey signed the FY 2024 state budget, which brings funding for the state's tobacco control program to $6,219,468 in the coming fiscal year. This is an increase of just over $90,000 from FY 2023.  As we advocate for youth tobacco use prevention and cessation programs, while defending the menthol cigarette and flavored tobacco bans, the need to increase this funding is more important than ever. Thank you for your support of these critical efforts.
  • The Joint Committee on Public Health held a public hearing on July 6th on bills which would weaken the flavored tobacco ban law - S.B.1364, An Act to repeal the state menthol ban and H.B. 2141/S.B.1345, An Act relative to tobacco harm-reduction. TFM and some of its member organizations provided testimony in opposition to the bills.

Remembering Dr. Blake Cady

The world of oncology lost a giant in the passing of Dr. Blake Cady on July 15, 2023. At Tobacco Free Mass we recognize Dr. Blake Cady both as our founder and as a guiding star for decades. The fact that Massachusetts is a leader in tobacco control is a part of his great legacy. We would not be where we are if not for his foresight, continued commitment, and hard work. 

Dr. Cady was the driving force behind 1992’s Question One, the initiative petition that allowed voters to pass a 25-cent tobacco tax and start the Commonwealth’s tobacco control program. Through persuasion, tenacity, and a genuine passion about the issue, he marshaled major health organizations and an army of volunteers to come together to get the issue on the ballot and ensure its passage. That group stayed together and evolved into Tobacco Free Mass.

He was mentor to and changed the life of many in the field of surgical oncology and public health. In addition to the treatment of cancer, Dr. Cady was passionate about prevention. Dr. Cady received the annual Distinguished Award of the American Cancer Society and the Lemuel Shattuck Medal of the Massachusetts Public Health Association on two occasions for activities in Tobacco Control.

A Celebration of the Life of Dr. Cady will be held from 2:00 - 5:00 PM on November 5. RSVP to Dorothy Cady at

His legacy will continue in many ways. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Dr. Blake Cady Award for Leadership in Tobacco Control, an honored tradition at Tobacco Free Mass. We will continue to recognize the best of the best in tobacco control and prevention in his name. This award is Tobacco Free Mass’ highest honor, and it is given annually to an individual who has contributed greatly to the tobacco control movement in Massachusetts. Our honorees have dedication, passion, and a willingness to find a way to make the impossible possible – qualities that enabled Dr. Cady to revolutionize tobacco control in Massachusetts. Join us at our Quarterly full Coalition meeting on September 7th at 10:00 AM to celebrate TFM's 2023 Dr. Blake Cady Award recipient.

    News You Can Use

    • Court issues order requiring cigarette companies to post corrective statements. This order will fully implement the “corrective statements” the tobacco companies were first ordered to make in 2006, when U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler issued a landmark judgment that these companies had violated civil racketeering laws and lied to the public for decades about the health risks and addictiveness of cigarettes and their marketing to children. The tobacco industry has fought the point-of-sale corrective statements in court for 16 years, but the parties to the case recently negotiated an agreement for the corrective statement signs to be displayed in retail stores for 21-months starting July 1 - Sept. 30, 2023.

    • Meanwhile, Canada is the first country to put health warnings on individual cigarettes.  Warning messages include “TOBACCO HARMS CHILDREN,” “POISON IN EVERY PUFF” and “SMOKING CAUSES IMPOTENCE.” Health Canada announced the regulation on Wednesday, May 31st for World No Tobacco Day.

    • The Truth Initiative released their newest Tobacco Nation reportTobacco Nation: A Call to Eliminate Geographic Smoking Disparities in the U.S. When it comes to reducing tobacco use and improving health, tobacco policies like smoke-free laws, restrictions on flavored tobacco products, and increased taxes make a big difference. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “because tobacco policies take a population-based approach to improving health, policies have the potential to reach groups most affected by tobacco and reduce disparities,” but these policies are largely enacted and enforced at the state and local level, where there is significant variation. 

    What You Can Do

    • Smoking causes about 20% of all cancers and about 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States. While about 80% of lung cancers, as well as about 80% of all lung cancer deaths, are due to smoking. If your organization is interested in supporting Multi-Cancer Early Detection or learning more, please send an emailAttached are two recent opinion columns (Cape Cod Times and Worcester Telegram) by Rich MacKinnon, President of the Professional Firefighters of Mass, highlighting the value of Multi-Cancer Early Detection and why Medicare coverage is important.

    • TFM met with representatives from the Attorney General's office in June, regarding the JUUL settlement. They have asked for input on how this money can be best spent. Please email any programming ideas or general thoughts. We will compile and forward to the AG's office. 

    • Sign on to a National Statement of Support: Demonstrate to elected officials, the media, and the public that there is tremendous support for eliminating flavored tobacco by signing this organizational statement of support.  To sign on please click on the link below and add your organization’s information: 

    TFM Membership

    • The TFM Membership Committee is in the process of developing strategies to recruit new membership. As the overall rate of tobacco use has decreased, the disparities between the state average and groups with high rates of tobacco use have become more pronounced. This situation is a crisis caused by a combination of tobacco industry targeting and the disproportionate burden of health problems caused by systemic and institutional racism and other structural inequities. To properly respond, we need engagement and leadership from disproportionately affected groupsPlease send an email if you would like more information or to recruit/recommend an organization or individual for TFM membership. Click to view the TFM Value Proposition.


    • Clear the Vapor 2023: State of Play October 24th is a unique, parent-powered and volunteer-led free/online event intended to provide both an overview and a deep dive into all aspects of this ongoing adolescent public health crisis with an emphasis on practical solutions. 

    Tobacco Free Mass Meetings

    A link to the meeting summary from the June 1st Quarterly full Coalition Meeting.

    Mark your calendars, the next TFM Quarterly full Coalition meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 7th from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM on ZOOM. Join us to congratulate the 2023 Dr. Blake Cady Award for Leadership in Tobacco Control recipient. Click here to register for the meeting.

    Thank you all for your continued support!


    Lisa Phillips

    Tobacco Coalition Director

    m: (617) 795-4129

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