Tobacco Control Program



A list of flavored tobacco products can be found on  This list is provided for guidance purposes only.


Sarah McColgan

Massachusetts Health Officers Association

Tobacco Control Program





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The following is an update from Tobacco Free Mass:

               " As the calendar turns to August, formal sessions for the 2015-2016 legislative session came to an end at 12:15 AM this morning.  Unfortunately, our comprehensive tobacco bill to raise the sales age to 21, prohibit sales of tobacco in pharmacies and add e-cigarettes to the smoke free workplace law did not get taken up by the House of Representatives prior to them adjourning early this morning.  While the legislature will continue to meet regularly through the end of this year, they are not able to take roll call votes, which would need to occur for our bill to become law.


                Although the bill did not become law this year, I am very optimistic about its chances next year.  We had an incredible campaign to push the bill, a bill that didn’t even exist until March of this year.  Thanks to the leadership of Senator Jason Lewis in the Senate, the bill passed in April by an overwhelming, bi-partisan vote of 32-2 giving us great momentum and helping us build support as the bill moved to the House.  Once in the House, Representative Paul McMurtry lead our efforts with his colleagues.  He was a tireless champion for the bill, working with us to build support for the it.  The result was a letter delivered to the Speaker of the House on Saturday, signed by 82 Representatives – a majority of the House.  Unfortunately, despite incredible efforts by Senator Lewis, Representative McMurtry and other legislators, working with TFM members, the House simply ran out of time before they could take up our legislation (as well as countless other bills)


                While it is disappointing, the bill is well positioned for success next year.  We made great progress this year and have increased the number of legislative champions on tobacco issues which will help us moving forward.  Over the past several months, we have delivered dozens of organizational support letters to legislators, successfully placed several letters to the editor and op-eds, delivered weekly “Did You Know” educational flyers to all legislators, held a standout by The 84 outside of the state house, ran internet banner ads and radio ads and held the first Tobacco Free Mass Advocacy Day at the state house, to name just some of the tactics that we used.

                 This is what Tobacco Free Mass is all about – strength in numbers - harnessing the collective power of multiple organizations working together for a common goal, in this case, protecting kids for Big Tobacco!  I share your disappointment with the fate of the bill, but I am excited about our prospects for next year."


Marc Hymovitz | Massachusetts Government Relations Director

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc.

30 Speen St

Framingham, MA 01701

Phone: 781.361.9661 | Fax: 508.270.4921





The Attorney General has updated two tobacco regulations.  These changes are in regarding electronic cigarettes and little cigars.  A copy of each final regulation is attached.  Also attached is a summary regarding the electronic cigarette additions to the regulation and a letter that you can put on your letterhead and send to your tobacco retailers along with the summary.

Language is being developed that can be used to amend your existing tobacco sales regulations. You do not need to hold a public hearing to make this amendment at a board of health meeting as it is a state law, but a legal notice in a local newspaper is required.  Please contact me via email ( if you would like this revised language and a template legal notice.


What the regulation does:

1.      - Effective 9/25/15 it will be a violation of the regulation to sell electronic cigarettes in Massachusetts to anyone under the age of 18.  There is wording that will allow those Age21 municipalities to use their higher minimum age

2.      - There is a ban on sampling of electronic cigarette juices.  The sampling ban will include those e-juices that are allegedly “no nicotine”

3.     -  Liquid nicotine must be sold in child resistant packaging effective March 15, 2016.  

4.      -  Mail/internet sales requires a 2-step age verification process and the person signing at delivery site must be the minimum age of the municipality (18 or 21)

5.      -  Penalties are laid out in the final regulation

If you have any questions regarding the AG's Regulation please feel free to contact me.

Sarah McColgan

Massachusetts Health Officers Association

Tobacco Control Program







Dear MHOA Members,

In mid-April many of you received communication from a group called Coalition for Responsible Retailing (CRR), a group that is funded by the tobacco industry.  The group is proposing a dramatic change in your local tobacco regulations, which tobacco control advocates do not support. Attached is a Press Release issued by CRR, and a response issued by the MAHB & MHOA Tobacco Control Programs.  I hope that you will take the time to read the two attached documents below, visit the CRR website, and decide for yourself whether or not these proposed regulations are public health friendly or just another ploy by the tobacco industry to absolve themselves of responsibility.

Links to:

The CRR Press Release: here

The MHOA Response: here

The Coalition For Responsible Retailing Website here


If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Sarah McColgan

Mass Health Officers Association

Tobacco Control Program

(413) 636-6418


Other Information:

The Massachusetts Health Officers Association Tobacco Control Program is funded by a grant through the Department of Public Health’s Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program. MHOA provides local boards of health with technical assistance and training on issues involving youth access to tobacco products and environmental tobacco (secondhand) smoke.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions for local health departments on tobacco control.  



Local Regulations or Ordinances

Many municipalities have enacted local regulations/ordinances to restrict the sale of tobacco products and to control environmental tobacco smokes.  Contact Sarah if you wish to update your local regulations.

Salem is first in state with cigarette butt recycling program