Boston, MA.  Senate Assistant Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chairman Mark C. Montigny (D-New Bedford) is pleased to announce that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health awarded a $90,000 tobacco control and prevention grant to New Bedford.  The grant is part of a total of $6 million in overall funding announced today that will assist 182 communities over the next four years.  New Bedford’s grant will assist the city and also serve the neighboring communities Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, and Rochester.  New Bedford’s Health Department is one of just 16 communities selected across the Commonwealth to serve as the lead agency in its region.

The funding will strengthen capacity to enact and enforce policies, systems, and environmental changes that reduce tobacco use, protect the public from secondhand smoke and youth from exposure to tobacco and vaping industry tactics.  This will enable cities and towns to maintain comprehensive tobacco control and prevention programs based on US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Best Practices designed to:

  • Protect youth from exposure to tobacco and vaping industry tactics and prevent youth initiation of tobacco/nicotine use
  • Protect residents from secondhand smoke
  • Ensure all Massachusetts users of tobacco/nicotine have access to cessation resources
  • Identify tobacco-related disparities and target efforts toward those disproportionately affected

In addition to the above grant, the legislature also recently enacted, and the Governor signed, H4486, An Act protecting youth from the health risks of tobacco and nicotine addiction, which raises the legal age to buy tobacco products statewide from 18 to 21. The new law broadens existing prohibitions on public smoking to include e-cigarettes and prohibits the use of tobacco products on the grounds of any public or private primary, secondary, or vocational school. Additionally, pharmacies, hospitals, or other entities that offer health care services or employ any licensed health care providers are prohibited from selling tobacco products.

Information from State Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford)