CASE STUDY: Public Health

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Ending the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products in Maryland


Flavored tobacco products have created a public health emergency in Maryland. Flavors like mint, gummy bear, and cotton candy lure children into a life-long struggle with tobacco addiction. Young people of color and those in the LGBTQ community are particularly targeted. Flavored tobacco has also fueled the use of electronic smoking devices, also known as e-cigarettes and vapes, by Maryland’s youth. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids chose The Hatcher Group to spearhead a three-month communications and outreach campaign designed to persuade policymakers, engage the media, and inspire grassroots advocates to support comprehensive legislation ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Maryland during the 2020 Maryland General Assembly legislative session.


Design & Creative
Digital Strategies
Event Planning & Execution
Media Relations
Messaging & Branding
Policy Outreach
Strategic Communications

Our Strategy

The Hatcher Group team created a communications strategy for the campaign. We began by developing a name for the new campaign, as well as messaging and branding, and a social media strategy aimed at key influencers. We then created compelling campaign materials, including fact sheets, FAQs, and content for the website. We conducted extensive media outreach and worked closely with coalition advocates to coordinate social and earned media efforts with paid media and on-the-ground lobbying and grassroots efforts. We helped coalition members and advocates amplify their message during bill hearings through opinion pieces and social media and organized a high-profile press conference featuring Maryland’s Attorney General.

Our Impact

  • Organized a press conference with the Maryland Attorney General, which was covered by a dozen media outlets across the region
  • Gained positive earned media, opinion pieces, and letters to the editor in publications including The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Maryland Matters, The Daily Record, WJLA, WJZ, and WBAL
  • Though Covid-19 cut short the 2020 Maryland legislative session and with it the chances of the bill becoming law, we set the stage, with the coalition, for future legislative action to end the sale of flavored tobacco products in Maryland
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