Partnership For A Tobacco Free Maine Logo

Marketing Against Tobacco

An Ongoing Commitment

Tobacco companies will spend almost $70 million dollars in Maine this year in an attempt to replace customers who quit smoking or die from using their products. Counter marketing is critical to combating the influential promotional activities of this multi-billion dollar industry.

Counter marketing and social marketing tactics are part of PTM’s commitment to countering the harmful effects of tobacco messaging. These tactics are used to raise awareness, educate the public, and incite behavior modification in the area of tobacco prevention and control.

What is Counter Marketing?

Counter marketing is the use of commercial marketing tactics to combat pro-tobacco influences, increase pro-health messages, and reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in the state and its communities. Counter marketing can play a significant role in increasing smoking cessation, reducing smokeless tobacco use, decreasing the likelihood that people will begin smoking cigarettes, and reducing nonsmokers’ exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. It can also influence public support for tobacco control.

What is Social Marketing?

The aim of social marketing is to encourage behavioral change for the social good. Instead of marketing a product, social marketing tries to get a consumer to make a behavior change in exchange for a benefit. In this discipline, the product is the benefit of better health, and the price paid is the behavior change, such as quitting smoking. Social marketing is an important part of countering pro-tobacco messages and communicating the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke, and it is made effective through media publicity, grassroots marketing, and internet marketing.

Our Counter Marketing Efforts at Work

PTM’s counter marketing efforts include achieving goals in the areas of policy change, enforcement, environmental change, taxes, and community involvement. Through graphic and memorable TV messaging, internet campaigns, parent- and youth-focused campaigns, viral marketing in schools and communities, and development of partnerships with many of Maine’s premier health organizations, nonprofits, and institutions, our counter marketing strategies are working to increase awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco use, save lives, reduce illness, and lessen the economic burdens of tobacco use.

Below are some of our recent and current counter marketing programs:

Eight Attempts. These radio and TV messages were originally created to reach those that are contemplating or have attempted to quit smoking for the New Year. The focus of the messages is that it can take several attempts to quit smoking before success and if you have tried to quit in the past but failed, to keep trying.

Reality Show
Not Alone
Delivery Device

Quitting is Taking Off

My Smoke-Free Life. These TV messages feature the positive life stories of smokers who have successfully quit smoking by using the Maine Tobacco HelpLine.


The Great Outdoors. Now Even Greater.

Fresh air and unspoiled spaces -- our outdoors is a better place without cigarettes and secondhand smoke. Maine law LD 67 makes common areas in our state parks and state historic sites smoke-free. These areas include:, playgrounds, snack bars, picnic shelters, business facilities, and any enclosed public place or public restroom.

Simple Idea
Take a Breath

Large Poster
Small Poster
Rack Card

Wherever You Live and Breathe, Go Smoke-Free. PTM’s newest campaign encourages parents not to smoke around their children and to quit smoking entirely. This campaign also promotes Maine’s new law that bans smoking in cars with minors.


It’s Like They Are Smoking
Nowhere to Hide


Baby Jack

Some Kids

Holiday HelpLine. These radio and print messages, encouraging Maine smokers to quit for the new year, helped spread the word to call the Maine Tobacco HelpLine for assistance.


Print Ads





Health Effects. This provocative TV message promotes public education by featuring the graphically illustrated consequences of smoking.

When Will It End. This pointed TV campaign addresses when tobacco use will turn into tobacco-related disease or death.

Quit For Your Kids. Real stories of Maine children who lost a parent to a tobacco-related disease provide a poignant reason for a parent to consider quitting. View the spots:












Cry the Most




Tobacco Never Quits. This public awareness TV campaign features information about how the tobacco industry targets 18-year olds and college students, and serves as an appeal to parents to keep the conversation going with their children about the dangers of tobacco. Visit Tobacco Never Quits.

18 Year Old
College Student
High School Student
Middle School Student

HelpLine Testimonials. These TV messages highlight the stories of smokers who have successfully quit smoking by using the Maine Tobacco HelpLine.


Don’t Get Me Started. This series of TV messages features young people who smoke sharing their real-life experiences with the social, economic, and health consequences of tobacco addiction.

Adult Influence. In this moving TV campaign targeted to parents, mothers and fathers reveal what they hope to pass on to their children – which doesn’t include tobacco addiction, a likely possibility if a parent smokes.

Secondhand Smoke. This TV campaign directly addresses the short- and long-term effects of the dangerous chemicals that bar workers absorb every working day as a result of secondhand smoke.

Reasons to Quit . This TV message presents compelling situations in life that could make a smoker consider quitting tobacco, and urges them to call the Maine Tobacco Helpline.

Tobacco Sucks. In this TV campaign, Maine youth take on Big Tobacco in their own style and with a truthfulness that hurts.

The Maine Resistance. This latest wave of youth-produced counter marketing features ads and a companion website that involve youth actively resisting tobacco, while encouraging them to join the resistance.




Got A Minute? is a social marketing campaign prepared for state and local tobacco use prevention and control programs by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It encourages parents to take the time to talk to their kids about tobacco. For more Information visit Got A Minute?.

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