Tireless work resulted in passage of landmark tobacco prevention and cessation law
For Immediate Release: 11/18/20
BOSTON – Tobacco Free Mass is giving its Tobacco Free Mass Legislative Champion Award for 2020 to Senator John Keenan and Representative Danielle Gregoire for their outstanding efforts to end the harms of tobacco use in Massachusetts. The awards will be presented virtually at Tobacco Free Mass’ annual policy forum on Thursday, November 19.
Senator Keenan and Rep. Gregoire were co-sponsors of An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control, the legislation that ended the sale of menthol cigarettes in Massachusetts, taxed e-cigarette and vape products, and made sure that insurance covers support and medicine to help people stop using tobacco.
The landmark legislation is the first in the nation to end the tobacco industry’s practice of targeting young people and people of color with flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.
“Senator Keenan and Representative Gregoire fought a well-funded tobacco industry to win a major victory for public health and for social justice,” said Lauren Smith, MD., Chair of Tobacco Free Mass. “They based their arguments on science, listened to the experience of young people in affected communities, and communicated the urgency of this issue to their colleagues.”
“I could not have done this work without the incredible advocacy of young people in my district who came to me with a hope for a more healthy future for themselves, their siblings, and their peers,” said Sen. John Keenan. “It was an honor to work with young people across the Commonwealth, Rep. Gregoire, and advocates from the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association to stand up to Big Tobacco and make Massachusetts a leader in tobacco reform.”