Tobacco-free Baltimore Coalition

This citizen coalition was formed to address the requirements and adminsitration of the Tobacco Master Agreement of 1998 in which the major tobacco companies agreed to end most advertising (billboards and TV) and to make substantial payments to the states. Since Maryland was one of the states in the agreement, it then required each county to set up a citizen committee to assist in the determination of how its share of the funds would be spent. The Baltimore County Health Department established the Tobacco-free Baltimore County Coalition.

The owner of this website sent a letter to the head of the County Health Department in July 2010 seeking help with a long-running campaign to eliminate illegal temporary signs at gas stations and convenience stores, many of which were (and still are) for tobacco products. It seems that, when billboards were out, the tobacco companies shifted their advertising funds to providing small signs for retail outlets. The Master Agreement allowed an exemption for signs under 14 sq ft. The County does not.

As a result of that letter, I was invited to join the Coalition. In spite of my efforts to use it as a way to get the County to enforce its existing laws against temporary, portable signs (including the ones advertising tobacco) no progress was ever made. After the final year on the Coalition in 2014 as co-chair, I quit the coalition since it was not accomplishing my goal.

Updated 22 Feb 2021