Critical Reasons for Retailers, Wholesalers & Manufacturers to Join NATO

Published in Tobacco E-News

By
Thomas A. Briant, Executive Director

There are compelling reasons for tobacco stores, convenience stores, service stations, liquor stores, grocery stores, wholesalers and manufacturers that sell tobacco products to join NATO. These compelling reasons to have your company consider joining NATO in 2012 are as follows:

Reason No. 1: NATO is the premier retail tobacco trade association that works exclusively on tobacco issues and informs and advises retailers and the industry about tobacco legislation and FDA regulations. The NATO News bulletin published exclusively for NATO members is a critical source of industry news on legislative and regulatory issues.

Reason No. 2: NATO has launched a national local ordinance advocacy project to respond to proposed local restrictions and tobacco taxes in 2012. There are numerous local governments seeking to enact ordinances restricting the sale and promotion of tobacco products or adopting tobacco taxes. Many of the proposals are funded by $245 million dollars in federal government stimulus funds. In just the past two months, NATO has succeeded in stopping cities from banning the sale of cigars in packages of less than four cigars and posting graphic health warning posters near cash registers.

Reason No. 3: NATO is the only national retail trade association that specializes exclusively in tobacco issues on the local, state and federal levels. NATO coordinates member responses to FDA regulations, state tobacco legislation, and local tobacco regulations. NATO staff members are experts on FDA issues and provide unequaled information on current and proposed FDA regulations and rules along with explanations so that members know how to comply with regulatory requirements.

Reason No. 4: NATO sues when necessary to protect the rights of retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers including bringing lawsuits against a Worcester, Mass., tobacco advertising ban and a Providence, R.I., flavored tobacco ban. On April 2, 2012, a federal court ruled that the Worcester advertising ban is unconstitutional.

Reason No. 5: NATO acts as a clearinghouse for tobacco information. If you have a tobacco question, NATO staff will either answer that question or find the information needed to respond to your question.

Reason No. 6: NATO assists its retail and wholesale members respond to state cigarette/tobacco tax increases. In 2011, NATO's efforts helped limit tax increases to only two out of nineteen states.

Reason No. 7: NATO membership currently benefits some 23,000 tobacco stores, convenience stores, gas stations, liquor stores and grocery stores plus numerous wholesalers and manufacturers.  

To join NATO, visit www.natocentral.org and click "Join NATO" for a 2012 NATO membership application. Join NATO and join the fight against tobacco legislation and regulations.