The MATCH Coalition advocates for tobacco prevention and control policies at the state and local levels to protect Connecticut’s public health and reduce the deadly toll that tobacco takes on the state. Successful advocacy is more than just meeting with legislators and testifying at public hearings. Advocacy also involves educating people about policy issues to generate media attention and build grassroots support to accomplish your mission.

You can become an advocate for tobacco prevention and control policies. Legislators in Hartford want to hear from their constituents on the bills that they have to vote on, and writing a letter to your state representative and/or state senator is a great way to make your voice heard on tobacco issues. Writing a letter to the editor or an op-ed in response to an article that appears in a newspaper is another way that you can educate people about tobacco issues and give those issues more visibility.

Grassroots support is oftentimes critical to the success of any advocacy initiative. Getting people involved who do not have a direct stake in the issue demonstrates a broad base of support that attracts a lot of attention. If there is a particular tobacco issue that drives you, getting any groups you are a part of involved in the issue will help the initiative be successful.

One of MATCH’s major advocacy initiatives this year is smoke-free public housing. The MATCH Coalition is working with public housing authorities around the state of Connecticut, talking with them about the benefits of smoke-free housing and helping them transition their housing complexes to smoke-free if they decide to do so. For more information about the MATCH Coalition’s smoke-free public housing initiative click here.