Online Program

A collaborative approach to local and state regulatory change in tobacco laws with limited resources

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Patricia Henley, M.Ed, Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Issues: Tobacco companies continue to employ new strategies and products to attract youth, while funding for state tobacco prevention and cessation programs are rapidly diminishing. Description: In response to budget cuts, Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP) focused its resources on a collaborative approach to combat tobacco industry tactics in the retail environment. The MTCP model uses a three pronged approach: the Boards of Health develop, implement and enforce local regulations; Community Partnership programs build relationships within the community and media to gain support for Board of Health initiatives; and the 84 youth program provides a strong and convincing voice in support of tobacco regulation. MTCP provides a unified message and evidence-based strategies for the three programs; the programs then use these tools to educate stakeholders in their respective municipalities in order to prompt local action and build momentum for change on the state level. Lessons Learned: Without cohesion among local programs responsible for regulatory change, the clear outlay of priorities, and the tailoring of standardized messages to support the priorities, local change is slow, incongruent and inefficient. It is important to provide local programs with the information and tools necessary to alter local climate in a consistent manner; toolkits, model regulations and informational webinars have been successfully used to achieve this end. Recommendations: To support statewide change with limited resources, Tobacco Control programs should map out local strategies, develop messaging around these strategies and educate stakeholders on utilizing these tools to achieve a critical mass of local regulations.

Learning Areas:

Program planning
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Explain the approach taken by MTCP and establish how it has been effective in facilitating change on the local and state level. Explore the coordinated use of unified messages and strategies and analyze how that coordination results in amplified messages that support local change. Discuss the implications of reduced funding in the tobacco control environment, and how this model can maximize effectiveness.

Keyword(s): Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have fifteen years experience working in tobacco control. I currently work at the state health department level where I oversee the all funded municipal and community tobacco programs. Prior to that, I worked at the local level in a municipal program and a community mobilization program. My past experience includes work in tobacco policy and enforcement, community mobilization, and community program development.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.