Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control
- On this page:
- Get Help Quitting |
- Information for Retailers |
- Training and Resources for Providers |
- Smoking Prevention |
- Laws and Regulations |
- About the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
Get Help Quitting
The Maine QuitLink offers all Maine residents free, confidential support to quit tobacco either over the phone or online. When you're ready to quit smoking, vaping, or other tobacco use, choose the option that's right for you to help you reach your quit goals. Maine people can access help from the Maine QuitLink online or by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Additional resources available through the Maine Quit Link include:
Population-based resources and information on the risks of smoking and help quitting targeted for at-risk populations:
There are medications that may help people quit tobacco. They can relieve symptoms of withdrawal and double the chances of successfully quitting. Some of these medications may be available for free through the Maine QuitLink.
MaineCare members can access Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) from the Maine QuitLink without the need for Primary Care Provider (PCP) visit to get a prescription.
Youth Treatment Resources
MLMQ provides free and confidential evidence-based tobacco treatment services tailored for youth 13-17. MLMQ offers quit coaching through phone, chat, and text-based sessions with a tobacco treatment specialist. It supports youth who want to quit combustible, smokeless, and electronic tobacco products.
Even youth who are not feeling 100% ready can reach out. The program is here to help at any point in a quitting journey. Enroll by texting “Start My Quit” to 36072, calling 855-891-9989, or visiting me.mylifemyquit.org.
Trusted adults, including healthcare providers, school personnel, youth-serving entities, and other community organizations, can refer a teen online.
Coordination between the Maine QuitLink and My Life, My Quit service will ensure Maine youth and adults who want to quit tobacco are connected to an age-appropriate, evidence-based service.
Information for Retailers
Tobacco products may not be sold to anyone under 21 years of age in Maine. The retail tobacco environment is important to youth prevention as compliance with tobacco laws limits youth access. The Maine CDC Tobacco Prevention and Control Program provides technical assistance and educational resources to tobacco retailers in Maine to promote compliance. This includes the NO BUTS! online retailer training and materials available on the MainePreventionStore.com.
Retailers who sell any tobacco products are required to have a retail tobacco sales license. Retail Tobacco Application is available on the Maine Health Inspection Program Forms and Applications page.
Training and Resources for Providers
The MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence offers training and resources to assist health care and behavioral health providers in providing education and quitting support for patients and clients.
Smoking and Tobacco Use Prevention
Most adults who smoke daily started smoking before the age of 18, thus preventing youth tobacco use is an important tool in the fight against commercial tobacco use in Maine. The Maine CDC Tobacco Prevention and Control Program funds evidence-based work in multiple settings to prevent all forms of youth tobacco use. This work is implemented throughout Maine with District Tobacco Prevention Partners who provide free local tobacco prevention support including education and policy technical assistance.
Community Level Work
Local partners work with schools, youth serving entities, municipalities, and other community groups to prevent youth tobacco use. They provide tobacco education and support for developing, maintaining, and enforcing comprehensive policies that create social norms around tobacco-free spaces.
The program also funds youth empowerment and engagement efforts in the state. This includes education for youth and adult advisors around restorative practices and alternatives to suspension; and support for youth groups that decide to work on a commercial tobacco prevention/youth engagement/empowerment project in their school.
E-cigarettes have been the most used tobacco product among youth in the U.S. and in Maine since 2014. With the rate of Maine High School students using tobacco over the last 30 days growing from 18.4% in 2015 to 28.7% in 2019, e-cigarettes or “vapes” have become a major concern. Given their flavors, marketing, and often high nicotine content, e-cigarette products have a high potential to attract and addict young people, putting gains from reductions in youth cigarette smoking at risk.
This e-cigarette toolkit provides information about the products, their regulation, and how you can support statewide tobacco prevention efforts.
E-cigarette education presentations are available for use in e-cigarette education for youth and adults. To access these materials or request a presentation, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smoking and Tobacco Rules and Regulations
E-Cigarette Flavor Bans
Evidence shows flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, increase the risk of youth initiation, undermine tobacco treatment efforts, and contribute to health disparities. Research shows that 82.9% of current youth e-cigarette users report using flavored products, while 77.9% state they use e-cigarettes “because they come in flavors I like.” Several states and hundreds of communities across the U.S., including multiple Maine communities, have restricted the sale of flavored tobacco products to address these concerns. Federal courts have found that federal law does not limit the authority of these jurisdictions to prohibit the sale of tobacco products in accordance with the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
Secondhand smoke can be harmful in any amount and contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including about 70 that can cause cancer. Eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke is a major goal to protect those who don’t smoke from its negative health harms, which include heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, and worsened asthma.
Smoking, which includes e-cigarette use, is prohibited in all enclosed public areas, outdoor eating areas, and all rest rooms made available to the public (22 M.R.S. §1542). Smoking is also not allowed in, on, or within 20 feet of a state-owned beach, playground, snack bar, group picnic shelter, business facility, enclosed area, public place, or restroom in a state park or state historic site (22 M.R.S. §1580-E).
Local Laws and Policies
There is free local education and technical assistance available for policy development to prevent secondhand smoke exposure. This includes support for policy development or improvement in multi-unit housing, behavioral health facilities, hospitals, other healthcare organizations, workplaces, and institutes of higher education.
Maine Tobacco Control and Prevention Program
Advancing health equity by identifying and eliminating commercial tobacco product-related inequities and disparities, which intersects with and is important to the other three goal areas. High priority populations, where tobacco disparities exist include: those diagnosed with behavioral health conditions; individuals with low income, including MaineCare members and pregnant individuals; and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Other groups of focus who are disproportionately impacted by tobacco use, include individuals living in rural areas, new immigrants, veterans, and people who are homeless.
Many complex factors have contributed to the development of these disparities including misconceptions and bias, targeted marketing by the tobacco industry, and unequal access to laws, policies, and supports that prevent and address commercial tobacco use.
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area (HCCA) and OUT Maine receive funding to implement tobacco prevention with the youth LGBTQ+ population in Maine. They conducted a Community Needs Assessments (PDF) of the youth LGBTQ+ population.
Campaigns and work have been done to address commercial tobacco use among the adult LGBTQ+ population through the Maine QuitLink, with a page containing culturally appropriate information and supports.
The National LGBT Cancer Network is a fantastic resource for those looking to learn more about this population and tobacco use.
There is currently limited information on commercial tobacco use by the New Mainer Communities. An evaluation (PDF) was done focused on secondhand smoke exposure in the New Mainer Community. Additional community needs assessments to learn about tobacco use in this population are underway with partners in Lewiston, Augusta, and Portland.
Data & Reports
In an effort to provide partners, the public, decision-makers, community leaders, and providers with an easy-to-access source of Maine tobacco-related data, the SEOW tobacco data dashboard was developed.
Campaigns & Resources
Media campaigns and resources are developed to educate the public and specific target audiences who experience tobacco-related disparities, about tobacco-related information and quit resources. Tobacco specific campaigns are an evidence-based strategy to reduce tobacco use rates, increase quit rates, and reduce youth initiation. Recent campaigns include:
- Vaping: Don’t Get Sucked In – Educates youth about the dangers and misconceptions of e-cigarettes and vaping; urges youth to stop vaping or never start
- Quit Your Way – Provides resources for those interested in quitting tobacco or how loved ones can help
- Alzheimer’s and Tobacco – Educates around the connection between tobacco use and Alzheimer’s
- Behavioral Health Provider – Provides education and training on how behavioral health providers can support their clients
- Substance Exposed Infant – Educates on resources for pregnant and postpartum people
- Secondhand Smoke – Educates around there being no safe level of secondhand smoke
For more information on the campaigns contact email@example.com.
According to Maine law, “The Tobacco Prevention and Control Advisory Council is established to review the program. The advisory council shall provide advice to the bureau in carrying out its duties under this section and ensure coordination of the program with relevant nonprofit and community agencies, other relevant state agencies, and the Department of Education.”
Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
Phone: (207) 287-4627
TTY: Maine Relay 711
*References to tobacco on this webpage refer solely to commercial tobacco use, not the sacred and traditional tobacco used by American Indian communities.