Tobacco-Free Communities

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and premature death. Seven Mainers die each day from a tobacco-related illness. One of the seven is a non-smoker, who dies because of exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco smoke has over 4000 chemicals. Over 60 of them are known to cause cancer in people. Children are especially at risk from the dangers of secondhand smoke because their lungs are still growing. Because of its highly addictive qualities, tobacco can be very difficult to quit, often taking several attempts.

Fortunately, many opportunities exist to build communities that support tobacco-free living, including raising awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, helping people to quit, and preventing exposure to secondhand smoke.

Healthy Acadia is involved in multiple initiatives building tobacco-free communities, including:

NEW! Mini-grants for Tobacco-Free Policies
Municipal policies
Smoke-free housing
Smoke-free lodging
Maine Tobacco Helpline
Freshstart® Tobacco Cessation

NEW! Mini-Grants for Tobacco-Free Policies

NEW! Mini-Grants for Tobacco-Free Policy Development 

Healthy Acadia is awarding mini-grants ranging from $ 100 to $ 1,000 to support community partners in Hancock and Washington counties to create smoke-free and tobacco-free policies. 

Who Can Apply?

Businesses and organizations that participate in the development, adoption, and implementation of new smoke-free or tobacco-free policies, including 1) those that do not have an existing tobacco-free/smoke-free policy; and 2) those that already have a tobacco-free/smoke-free policy that would benefit from review, recommendations and updates due to new laws.

Interested entities agree to partner with Healthy Acadia. Healthy Acadia will provide technical assistance and resources to develop a new or updated comprehensive tobacco-free policy. Resources include policy template, free signage, policy checklists, brochures, and other free presentations, materials, and training.

Submit an application form, budget, and your current tobacco/smoke-free policy (if applicable) to Healthy Acadia via email to or Questions prior to submission are also welcome.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through July 31, 2020. Click here for an application.

Municipal Policies and Sample Ordinances

Healthy Acadia works with towns throughout the region to develop polices to promote tobacco-free communities. Municipal policies can cover a range of topics, including the sale, distribution and consumption of tobacco products. Such policies can have long-term, significant impacts in reducing access to tobacco as well as reducing exposure to second-hand smoke. Policies also help raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and the importance of tobacco-free communities. Specific policy topics include:

  • Governing tobacco sales and distribution to minors
  • Governing smoking in public places
  • Governing smoking at public events


Public Law Center Smoke Free Laws in Outdoor Places
Review of Hancock County Municipal Tobacco Regulation
School Policies and Activities to Prevent Tobacco Use among Minors
State Laws Affecting Tobacco Sales, Possession and Use
Americans for non-Smokers Rights - Maps, ordinances, signs and more
Maine Centers for Disease Control
Partnership for a Tobacco Free Maine

For more information, contact:
Maria Donahue,

Smoke-Free Housing

Living in a smoke-free home is healthy for you and your family. A smoke-free home protects you from the dangerous toxins contained in secondhand smoke, and it greatly reduces the risk of fires and damage to your home. Smoke-free housing is a growing trend across the state, with many homeowners and landlords, private and public, adopting no-smoking policies for their homes and buildings.

Healthy Acadia works on a number of initiatives to support the development of smoke-free homes, including providing resources to homeowners, working with housing sites to develop smoke-free policies, and increasing awareness about the importance of health homes.


For more information, contact:
Maria Donahue,

Smoke-Free Lodging

Providing safe and healthy accommodations to the millions of folks who visit Downeast-Acadia each year is important for health and good for business. Healthy Acadia provides multiple resources for lodging owners to develop and maintain smoke-free lodging. We provide resources and technical assistance to lodging owners to develop workable policies and rules regarding tobacco use on their properties. We also provide education on the importance of smoke-free environments, helping to raise awareness and provide support for lodging owners to increase smoke-free spaces.

Smoke-Free Lodging Brochure

For more information, contact:
Maria Donahue,

Maine Tobacco Helpline

One of the hardest things to do is to quit using tobacco. Quitting tobacco can be a challenging process and sometimes it takes more than one try. Healthy Acadia promotes the use of the Maine Tobacco HelpLine as an excellent resource to support people in the quitting process. Your call to the Maine Tobacco HelpLine can be an important first step to help you along the journey of quitting, or to help you support a loved one to become tobacco-free.

The Maine Tobacco HelpLine is a free service that answers your questions and offers friendly support to those who are thinking about quitting, who are ready to quit, or who want to help a friend or family member quit. The HelpLine offers support that can help you or those you love stay tobacco free for life.


Freshstart® Tobacco Cessation Program

Quitting tobacco is among the most difficult things someone can do. Many people benefit from attending a weekly class to help them quit. Healthy Acadia is pleased to offer free tobacco cessation classes for community members, utilizing the American Cancer Society’s Freshstart® program, with funding support from the Maine Cancer Foundation.

The Freshstart® program is a free smoking cessation program developed by the American Cancer Society. The program is offered throughout the year at Healthy Acadia locations, including Machias, Calais, Ellsworth, Washington and Hancock Counties. 

Freshstart® is the first step toward becoming a former tobacco user. The class meets once a week for four weeks and focuses on topics such as:

  • What do I need to know about quitting?   
  • How is nicotine addictive?
  • Dealing with nicotine withdrawal             
  • Recovering from slip-ups.

The classes are informal, engaging and interactive. Participants often bond with each other and provide helpful support during the quitting process.

Barriers to quit smoking

Nicotine is highly addictive, making it challenging to quit. Over time, tobacco users become physically and emotionally addicted to nicotine. Smokers must address both their physical and psychological dependency to quit and stay a non-smoker.

Additional barriers include fear of withdrawal, stress, others in the house that smoke, weight gain and fear of failure.


Quick tips to quit smoking

Even though it can be scary to make the decision to quit smoking, it’s the right choice for your health, your mind and your body. The following tips will help take it from a hypothetical idea to a reality:

  1. Sign up for a Freshstart® class. Learn effective how-to-quit tips and get support from classmates along the way. It’s a great first step towards quitting smoking.
  2. What’s your reason? Identify your motivation to quit and write the reason on post-it notes. Place these notes in visible places, especially spots where you typically smoked. They’ll serve as a visual reminder not to light up.
  3. Set the date. Pick a date on your calendar to become a non-smoker – and stick to it.
  4. Ask for support. Family, friends, spouse, significant others, co-workers – tell them about your plan to quit smoking and ask for support. Better yet – ask them to join you! Accountability partners can help you to stick with quitting.
  5. Fight the urge. If you have an urge to smoke, wait just 10 minutes. The urge will pass.

Additionally, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss medication to help you quit. Your doctor can write you a prescription for over-the-counter medications like patches and gum. In the state of Maine, major medical insurance carriers or Medicaid will pay for many tobacco cessation medications.

We want to help you quit
At Healthy Acadia, we are your health partner every step of the way. If you are interested in learning more about quitting smoking and the free four-week Freshstart® program, please call or email us:

In Washington County, email Angela Fochesato or call (207) 255-3741.

In Hancock County, email Tara Young or call (207) 667-7171.

Our communities encourage and support lifestyles free from tobacco use and exposure. Adults model responsible behaviors and families learn the skills needed to raise strong, resilient, healthy children.






Tobacco free policies create healthier environments by reducing access to tobacco products and exposure to second-hand smoke.