Tobacco Free Community Partnership
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.
Chapters will get:
- Exclusive invites to statewide events and free trainings
- 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
- A custom page on the84.org
- The chance to participate in statewide competitions and earn group rewards
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
Keeping your home smoke free is important to ensure the safety of yourself, your loved ones, guests, neighbors, and even your pets. Many elderly people and those with disabilities live in multi-unit dwellings where smoking is allowed. For most, moving is not an option.
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
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!
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.
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 below for online support and to contact a quit coach.
The MA Smokers’ Helpline is a program of the MA Department of Public Health.
Melinda Calianos has been involved in tobacco use prevention and smoke free environment efforts for many years. From 2000-2002 she served as Staff Attorney for the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards. As Staff Attorney Melinda provided support to local boards of health across the Commonwealth as they considered their first ever local tobacco regulations.
In 2015 she became the Director of the Hampshire Franklin Tobacco Free Community Partnership, which is part of HCG. In this role Melinda supports communities’ efforts to lower smoking rates and exposure to secondhand smoke. She helps mobilize the community to support and adopt evidence-based policies aimed to reduce tobacco related use and tobacco related illnesses, and provides education with hopes to change social norms around tobacco use. Funded by the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, Community Partnerships serve as a resource for local coalitions, health and human service agencies, municipalities, and workplaces on tobacco intervention efforts.
Position: Program Coordinator, Hampshire-Franklin Tobacco-Free Community Partnership
Phone: 413.586.4900 x5584