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Cardiovascular disease and lung cancer are the leading causes of death in both men and women in the United States, yet both are preventable simply by avoiding tobacco use. These realities brought about the Cape Cod Regional Tobacco Control Program (CCRTCP). Further, the current use of vaping products has reached epidemic levels, warranting a strong effort to educate the public about the inherent dangers of these devices.

Under the direction of Robert Collett, CCRTCP is supported through a state grant administered by the Department on behalf of all Cape Cod towns (with the exception of Dennis), Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Plymouth and Wareham. The Program’s education efforts include an annual visit to each tobacco merchant in all 23 communities within the service area and assisting local boards of health with promulgation and implementation of tobacco control regulations. Visits were made to all tobacco merchants to provide education regarding the new Massachusetts Tobacco Retail Laws that became effective on January 1st, 2020. A total of 390 tobacco sales compliance checks (utilized to assure compliance with youth access laws) were conducted within the service area. Violators were re-checked for compliance. The program also investigated 5 complaints of violations of the MA Indoor Workplace Smoking Law, sharing findings with respective local Boards of Health. Additionally, CCRTCP works with other local public health/prevention entities collaboratively to implement comprehensive substance abuse prevention strategies and offers public education addressing the use of tobacco and other nicotine delivery products, including e-cigarettes, otherwise known as vaping devices.

The CCRTCP consistently serves as a model within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and with our federal partners. For more information regarding the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program, please visit the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention program (MCTP) at mass.gov.