Everyone needs to watch this video and pay special attention to what the various lobbyist organizations are telling you. The attacks on the industry have shifted in the last year away from direct attacks on the consumers and are now focused on regulations, bans, smear campaigns and lawsuits against the business community. This kind of attack requires different tactics which only organizations familiar with the state level landscape can effectively help with. Watch this video and scroll down when you’re done…
“If you can’t get involved in advocacy because your competitor is involved in advocacy, get out of the industry now. We don’t want you here…when you’re both out of business, it’s not going to matter. It’s just THAT simple!” – Vaping Militia
“With lobbyists, you are renting their relationships. They have the relationships [with politicians], you don’t.” “Some lobbyists I deal with go for $15-20,000 per month. If you are a business owner, the value to you [by joining an organization] is you are not writing a check for $15,000 per month. If you can’t write a check every year for $60,000 for representation, you’re better off joining forces with your competitors. You don’t have to like them, you just have to survive together” – Pamela Gorman, NJOY
“State organizations have the ability to pool the money together and send it where it needs to go. You don’t have to track it” – Florida Smoke Free Association
So with all that said, you might wonder about the Utah Smoke Free Association. How are we funded? How many of the Utah shops are “surviving together” to fight not only for their business but that of their competitors AND for all the consumers’ right to vape? Do YOU want to remain in business or are you only in the industry to “ride the wave”?
In order to be fully functional and help the industry survive in the state, this image below is where we stand as of today. Approximately 80% of our funding goes directly to fund the lobbyists. The remaining 20% is for general administrative costs that it takes to run the organization. No board member is paid a salary.
We are currently funded through 15 paid members with 21 locations and 3 affiliate members; and this only has us just short of the half way mark. CASAA, SFATA, AEMSA, AVA, and the other national organizations are all incredible organizations do not provide the Utah industry full time professional lobbyists; so it’s critical that everyone realize that we as your state organization are the only ones that have organized for experienced and professional lobbyists for YOUR business and OUR industry. You should still support the efforts of the other organizations as each one has a unique place in the industry but we all work together for the common good; but only state organizations directly fund the state-level fight that keeps YOUR business IN business.
You are encouraged to join the Utah Smoke Free Association as soon as possible as this will be a HUGE year and if we cannot be involved in the fight, none of us may be in business in the next year…If you don’t believe me and haven’t watched the video, do so and you’ll understand. If you are ready to join in the fight and be a part of one of the longest running and most respected state organizations, head over to the Professional Membership page for more details.by