Hampshire-Franklin Tobacco-Free Community Partnership

banner image with solid blue block and a picture of young people protesting tobacco use

Hampshire-Franklin Tobacco-Free Community Partnership

What We Do

The Hampshire-Franklin Tobacco-Free Community Partnership is part of a statewide network of programs funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to support communities’ efforts to help people quit using tobacco, prevent youth from starting, and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.

The Hampshire-Franklin Tobacco-Free Community Partnership works to enhance state and local tobacco control efforts, mobilize support for community change, and highlight work being done in the community to support tobacco-free living. We provide technical assistance and resources at no cost to local coalitions, service agencies, municipalities, property owners, educators and workplaces on tobacco intervention efforts.

The 84 Movement

The 84 is a statewide movement of youth fighting tobacco in Massachusetts. The 84 represents the 84% of Massachusetts youth who did not smoke when the movement began. Now, that number is steadily increasing. Members of The 84 educate community leaders, legislators, and their peers about tobacco industry tactics and help advance local strategies to reduce the influence of tobacco. Chapter members also have the chance to come together at statewide trainings and events to share ideas and learn new skills. Every year, over 90 Chapters join the Movement to create positive change in their communities. Register to become a chapter and join Chapters around the state making a difference in Massachusetts.

Why Become a Chapter? Chapters will get:

  • Exclusive invites to statewide events and free trainings to learn about tobacco prevention and network with other youth around the state.
  • Eligibility to apply for funding to take on a number of tobacco prevention projects
  • Opportunity for recognition at the State House
  • Meetings with your law makers
  • Access to The 84 promotional toolkit with a binder of activity ideas and more
  • A custom page on the The 84.org to highlight our Chapter’s successes and get attention
  • The chance to participate in statewide competitions and earn group rewards

Becoming a Chapter is easy and free! You can create a Chapter with only 5 youth from your existing group or form a new group, with a supportive adult advisor.

To learn more, log on to: www.the84.org

image of students meeting with a legislator in the state house

Oppose Tobacco Tactics

Big Tobacco targets kids. The tobacco industry uses three main tactics in its efforts to hook kids on tobacco products. The industry makes its products sweet, cheap, and easy to get because they know that people who start using nicotine products in adolescence have a harder time quitting than people who start as adults.

They’re targeting kids with sweet, cheap, and easy to get tobacco products using popular fruit and candy-like flavors. Flavored tobacco products are typically priced below five dollars and are widely available at retailers frequented by youth.

E-cigarettes or vape pens come in over 8,000 different flavors to better attract young people, and it’s working. Flavors are the leading reason that youth are using e-cigarettes, and the nicotine in these products leads to sustained use. In fact, more high school youth in Massachusetts are now using e-cigarettes than all other tobacco products combined, AND they are using them nine times more often than adults.

Thanks to the tobacco industry targeting our youth, Massachusetts has experienced an increase in vaping (use of e-cigarettes or vape pens) by young people. It is important to realize that vape pens are not just another harmless fad, but that they usually contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that is getting them hooked on these products. Nearly 24% of high-school-aged youth in Massachusetts reported using e-cigarettes and almost 45% have used them at least once.

Smoke Free Housing

Secondhand smoke comes from a lit tobacco product, like a cigarette, cigar, or pipe – and it’s not just a nuisance – it’s a health hazard and it’s dangerous. Secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and poisons, and at least 50 of these are known to cause cancer. It stays in clothing, hair, furniture, curtains, and carpets even after a cigarette is put out and can harm people who come in contact with it, especially children. Keeping your home smoke free is important to ensure the safety of yourself, your loved ones, guests, neighbors, and even your pets.

Secondhand smoke is dangerous, even if you can’t smell it. Opening a window, sitting in a separate area, or using air filters or a fan does not get rid of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke exposes your family and friends to many health risks. In adults, it causes problems with asthma, poor blood circulation, heart disease, and lung cancer. In children, it causes more coughs, colds, problems with asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis. There are simply NO safe levels of secondhand smoke.

Many elderly people and those with disabilities live in multi-unit dwellings where smoking is allowed. For most, moving is not an option. If you live in a multi-unit dwelling and don’t have a smoke free policy but would like one, try speaking with other residents to build support to talk with your landlord or property management company about creating one.

We provide technical assistance for:

  • Smoke free housing survey design
  • Economic analysis tools for landlords
  • Public health and public safety information
  • Proven techniques to go smoke free for condos, apartments, subsidized housing or housing authorities
  • Legal questions
  • Smoke free policy templates

Trying to Quit? Cessation Info

If you’re thinking about quitting smoking, find out how your health insurance plan can help. Many health plans help cover the cost of medicines and counseling to help you quit smoking. Remember, using quit-smoking medicine or counseling support can more than double your chances to quit for good! Some health plans cover more than others. Coverage often changes.

MassHealth covers all FDA-approved medicines and counseling to help you quit smoking. Other public health insurance plans in Massachusetts, including Commonwealth Care and Medicare, also cover counseling support and many FDA-approved medicines. Private health plans, which include plans from employers and the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) plans for state and municipal workers, may have quit-smoking benefits. The benefits you have depend on your insurance carrier, your employer’s choices, and your membership plan.

Call the customer information phone number listed on the back of your health plan card to find out what quit-smoking benefits you have. When you call, make sure to ask these important questions to find out what your full quit-smoking benefit is. Even if you’re not sure if you’ll use it, it’s good to know what your options are in case you change your mind.

Free Medicine and Coaching to Quit

Improve your chances of quitting tobacco with free medicine and coaching! The MA Smokers’ Helpline now offers new online tools to help those looking to quit, like peer support and motivational text messages. People who use coaching and medicines together are 3x as likely to quit for good. Click now for online support and to contact a quit coach.

The MA Smokers’ Helpline is a program of the MA Department of Public Health.

image of a man holding a sign that says "I quite on my 7th try. Keep trying!" with text above him "The MA Smokers' Helpline offers free support to quit smoking."

For more information, contact: 
Program Coordinator, Hampshire-Franklin Tobacco-Free Community Partnership
413.586.4900 x5584