National Response Network
In response to the increasing number and restrictiveness of local tobacco ordinances, a new coalition of state and national trade associations and business organizations has been formed to build the capacity to more effectively respond to proposed local tobacco restrictions. Known as the National Response Network (NRN), the objective of the coalition is to develop a more educated and engaged retail community that is better prepared to participate in the local government process in opposing tobacco product restrictions. Those trade organizations that join the NRN will work together to share information and outreach strategies to respond to local tobacco ordinances that negatively and unfairly impact the sale of legal tobacco products.
Having been formed in late 2018, the NRN already has more than 60 state and national trade associations and business groups signed on as partners to respond to local tobacco ordinances. An effort to reach out to additional trade associations is an on-going process with an overall goal of engaging with business organizations in all fifty states.
Each of the participating organizations will be provided information to educate their members about how to establish a relationship with local elected officials before any restrictive ordinance is proposed. This relationship building can take the form of store visits, meetings with elected officials, and how to contact elected officials if an ordinance is proposed. Relationship building is key to potentially preventing local ordinances from being introduced or to prevent local restrictions from being adopted.
In addition, an alert system has been set up so that trade associations and business groups will be informed of proposed local ordinances in the states where they have retail members. These alerts can then be sent onto an organization’s members for them, in turn, to contact their local elected officials and inform them about the potential impact of the proposed restrictions.
National Local Advocacy Alliance Website
In conjunction with the National Response Network, a new website dedicated to help retailers learn about and respond to local tobacco ordinances has also been launched. The new website, known as the National Local Advocacy Alliance (NLAA), contains important information on each proposed local tobacco ordinance. Specifically, the website includes the following features:
1. Local Ordinances Page: A listing of proposed local tobacco ordinances by state, including a copy of the proposed ordinance.
2. Take Action Page: Contacting your local officials about a proposed ordinance is simplified with an easy to send pre-drafted e-mail message or to post a comment on the Facebook page of local lawmakers.
3. Resources Page: Fact sheets on the different kinds of local tobacco ordinances which can be used as talking points with local elected officials.
4. Ordinance Library: An archive of previously adopted local ordinances by state to help retailers understand the regulations already adopted by a local government.
The NLAA website also includes a “Sign Up” feature to be kept informed of new local ordinances in each state. To visit the new NLAA website, click on the link below: