What’s more, local regulatory activity is on the rise, noted Cushman, who, along with her fellow panelists, urged those in the industry to approach their elected officials and those running for office to advocate on the industry’s behalf, both federally and at the state and local levels. “Everyone has a congressman running in 2018,” she noted. “Even if it is not the person holding office, go engage with the person running against them and ask what they think. Explain, ‘This is important to my business.’ They will listen.”
Panelists acknowledged that it can be difficult for smaller companies to handle the costs of PMTAs, and D’Alessandris urged smaller companies with innovative technologies to explore partnering with large companies that have deeper pockets. Cushman also noted that retailers can do their part by working with companies that are devoting resources to lobbying on the industry’s behalf.
The predicate date is far from a fait accompli, added Daman. “We have a very small window of time to fight, and we need to understand what is possible, what to fight for and that we are stronger together.
Work with your industry associations and rally everyone you know—employees, customers—because 1,200 votes can make a difference. I would encourage you to be a single-issue voter this year. You really have the ability to radically change the outcome.”
This story first appeared in the March/April 2018 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.
– Story by Jennifer Gelfand, editor in chief of Tobacco Business Magazine