The value of membership in NATO can be measured by the benefits members receive from the association’s specialization in tobacco legislative and regulatory issues, the organization’s grassroots legislative advocacy efforts, the one of its kind local advocacy project, the expertise of NATO staff on tobacco legislation and FDA regulations, the acclaimed NATO News Bulletin for its tobacco legislative analysis and regulatory news updates, and the legal resource for all questions related to tobacco legislation and FDA regulations.
Cost Savings to NATO Members: A retailer would need to spend $3,555 per state in which its stores are located to obtain the same legislative monitoring services, legislative updates, legislative alerts, and expert legal advice on tobacco-related issues that NATO provides for a substantially lower annual membership fee. Some 51,000 retail stores are now NATO members and are benefitting from the cost savings offered through NATO membership.
Specialization: NATO is the only national retail trade association that specializes exclusively in tobacco issues on the local, state and federal levels. No other trade organization devotes all of its resources and staff to informing, advising and assisting tobacco retailers on tobacco legislation and FDA regulations. NATO is the best ally that a retailer can have in protecting the right to sell legal tobacco products.
Legislative Advocacy: NATO was founded on the belief that tobacco retailers need to become engaged in the legislative process to protect the right to sell legal tobacco products in order to protect their businesses. NATO provides association members the information and tools needed to make sending a an e-mail or calling a lawmaker a simple process that can impact the outcome of legislation.
Local Project: In 2012, NATO launched a national local ordinance advocacy project to respond to proposed local retail tobacco restrictions and tobacco taxes. Since its launch, the NATO Local Project has helped thousands of retail stores respond to hundreds of local proposed regulations. Across the country, local governments are proposing ordinances to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, eliminate all tobacco displays from public view, prohibit tobacco product coupon redemption, limit tobacco product promotional pricing, set minimum cigar package sizes, raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products, increase local tobacco tax rates, limit the number of retail stores allowed to sell tobacco products, and outlaw self-service displays in adult-only tobacco stores.
Expertise: NATO staff members are experts on local and state grassroots legislative advocacy and help association members become involved in the legislative process to protect their businesses. Moreover, the NATO staff has a wealth of knowledge about FDA tobacco regulations and rules and assists members in understanding the regulatory requirements and how to comply with federal tobacco regulations.
News Resource: The NATO News Bulletin is an acclaimed electronic news update that contains up-to-date information about pending local, state and federal legislation and FDA regulations. The news and information that tobacco retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers need to know can be found in the NATO News Bulletin.
Legal Resource: When a member has a legal question on legislation or FDA regulations, a call to NATO results in a prompt response from NATO Executive Director and Legal Counsel Thomas Briant or association staff find the answer to the question. Also, NATO sues when necessary to protect the rights of tobacco retailers, including bringing lawsuits against Worcester, Massachusetts for its tobacco advertising ban that a federal court has now overturned and against Providence, Rhode Island for its flavored tobacco sales ban and promotional pricing restriction which is on appeal.
NATO offers five types of membership, based on your primary business activity. Please click on the type below which best describes your business, then print out and either mail or fax the completed form back to us. Membership Types:
- Tobacco Store, Grocery Store, Liquor Store, Service Station — You are either a tobacco store that sells primarily tobacco products and tobacco accessories or a grocery store, liquor store, or service station.
- Convenience Store — Your company operates one or more convenience store that sell tobacco products.
- Wholesale/Distributor — Your company is primarily engaged in the business of wholesaling tobacco products/accessories to tobacco stores or distributes tobacco products/accessories.
- Manufacturer — Your company is primarily engaged in the manufacturing or importing of tobacco products or tobacco accessories.
- Associate — Your company is primarily engaged in the business of providing services or non-tobacco-related ancilliary products to tobacco retailers.