The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP) supports community members in their efforts to reduce the tobacco industry’s influence on the local level through education and local policy change. Reducing the tobacco industry’s influence is a key strategy in ensuring that young people do not become addicted to tobacco. View the interactive map to find out the smoking rates in your community, and which cities and towns have adopted key tobacco control regulations.
MTCP recommends that municipalities pass a comprehensive tobacco regulation that includes four key components:
- Restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products to adult-only establishments
- Capping the number of tobacco retailers allowed in a municipality
- Prohibiting the sale of tobacco in pharmacies and other healthcare institutions
- Prohibiting the sale of cheap, single cigars
- Restricting the sale of electronic cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices
A supportive policy that extends the impact of these four key components is raising the minimum age of tobacco sales to 21, a strategy recently cited by the Institute of Medicine as evidence-based and effective. While raising the minimum sales age to 21 helps reduce youth access, it alone does not eliminate sales to minors or impact other access channels. For this reason, the strategy of raising the minimum sale age to 21 is just one of several key strategies to be used by cities and towns to reduce youth smoking.
You can help reduce the tobacco industry’s influence in your community!
Connect with your local Tobacco-Free Community Partnership program to find out what they are doing to reduce the tobacco industry’s influence in your community. There are many different ways to be involved and to protect the young people around you from a life of tobacco addiction.