The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program has a rich history of using the media and other communications campaigns to inform the public about the dangers of tobacco use and local help to quit.

Today, a local approach drives the MTCP communications campaigns. With a focus on community level radio, billboards, and public transportation advertising, MTCP tailors messages to reach Massachusetts residents who suffer a disproportionate burden from tobacco use. Through market segmentation based on demographic and health risk factor data, MTCP determines the best audience for each campaign message.

Read more below about some of MTCP’s most recent communications campaigns:

  • Big Tobacco Targets Kids Campaign: 90% of smokers started before the age of 18. Research shows that kids who shop at stores with tobacco two or more times a week are 64% more likely to start smoking than their peers who don’t. The purpose of this media campaign is to educate Massachusetts residents about tobacco industry influence in retail stores and the effect that it has on Massachusetts’ young people. Visit www.makesmokinghistory.org to learn how to take action in Massachusetts!
  • Before you Light Up, Look Down: This campaign features the faces of children as a reminder about the harm secondhand smoke can cause for children. The campaign includes a suite of branded materials including easy-read fact sheets on secondhand smoke and children, posters, coloring sheets, and decals.
  • Fight for Your Life: This campaign featured real people telling their stories of battling to quit smoking. A combination of print, radio, cable TV, internet, and transit media was used in addition to billboards, local gas stations and convenience stores to reach smokers in everyday locations. Airing in 2008,it was the first state-funded quit-smoking television campaign to be aired in Massachusetts since 2001. Evaluation revealed a 9.4% increase in quit attempts among the target audience during the campaign.
  • Veteran’s Patch Giveaway: The Free Nicotine Patch Promotion for Veterans was one of six free nicotine patch promotions offered by the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP) during Fiscal Year 2009 to target specific populations and geographic areas with smoking rates higher than the state’s average. This campaign encouraged veterans and their families to quit smoking and utilize free telephone support and quit-smoking medicines.
  • What’s Your Story: In this campaign MTCP recruited former female smokers who had successfully quit and were willing to share their stories. Their stories were recorded unscripted through extensive interviews then edited into ads. The advertisements encouraged people to quit smoking and promoted the new MassHealth cessation benefit to mothers and families. Listen to recent real stories from:

This information is provided by the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation & Prevention Program within the Department of Public Health.