HOW TO DO MORE TO SAVE VAPING!
HOW TO DO MORE
JOIN CASAA. By joining CASAA, you will become plugged into an advocacy network.
Being a CASAA member ensures that when something comes up that affects you, you get notified by email.
Once you are in our database with your name, email address, and physical address (Don’t worry–we keep all that information private!), it allows us to better focus our efforts. We know that legislators care about two things–votes and money. Well, we don’t have the money, but we do have the votes. A legislator is going to care far, far more when he/she hears from an in-district constituent. Our database allows us to make sure that we can put our members in touch with their elected representatives.
The more members CASAA has, the greater our reach and credibility. Legislators and regulators need to understand that there is an organized consumer voice, that it is growing by leaps and bounds, and that it would not be wise to dismiss us as simply a fringe element.
Ask your family and friends to join CASAA. Even if they do not vape or use a tobacco harm reduction (THR) product, it is a tangible way of showing their support of you and your healthier lifestyle.
REGISTER TO VOTE. It probably goes without saying, but we’ll say it any way: If you haven’t already done so, Register to Vote. When you contact legislators, the voice of registered voters in their districts carry significant weight, and even more weight still when you actually vote. (Yes, legislators can check records to see who is registered to vote and who has voted.)
RESPOND TO CALLS TO ACTION. If you are a CASAA member, you will receive an email notifying you of legislative and regulatory threats that affect you. You can also check to see whether CASAA has issued a Call to Action or Local Alert in your area by clicking here.
SPREAD THE MESSAGE. One of the most effective methods of gaining support is a large group of people. Take time to develop a short 10-second explanation of what vaping means for you and others (an elevator speech – something you can say between floors on an elevator). As opportunity presents itself, give this elevator speech to gain interest in your listener and make them aware how valuable THR and vaping is to public health.
Learn how to deal effectively with your legislators and local boards of health
How to find your local boards of health?
Follow this link: http://www.naccho.org/about/lhd/
How to find your mayor?
Follow this link: https://www.usmayors.org/mayors
How to find your local Government Agencies?
Follow this link: https://www.usa.gov/local-governments
A Short List of Do’s and Don’ts
This list is compiled from our years of experience dealing with agencies and legislators and can serve as a guide to help get you started on the most effective path to defend your rights.
Do find your legislator/Board of Health (BOH) member and call their office for an appointment. You will often meet with staff, which is valuable in and of itself.
Do your homework and check the voting records of the legislator or BOH member before your visit.
Do be prepared bring studies/stories/charts with you. A few recent positive articles or some nice charts and graphs if you can manage to find them is always very good to bring with you. (Especially for initial meetings before legislation has been introduced, try to limit yourself to 3 or 4 because too many will be overkill for a small meeting.) These should be left with whomever you have met with at the end of your visit.
Do know your topic. Spend time practicing so when you speak, you sound knowledgeable on the subject.
Do dress in a appropriately. Dressing well sends a message that you respect the office you’re about to enter. (Business casual dress is generally appropriate, although in some cases, a suit may be a better choice. Avoid informal dress such as t-shirts, shorts, and jeans.)
Do introduce yourself or your group and explain why you are there.
Do tell the truth. Don’t stretch the truth or make unrealistic claims.
Do remember these are people just like you, and they expect a little potential nervousness.
Do smile and offer to shake hands.
Do if you are going as part of a group you must decide who speaks first.
Do limit your visit to one request, one piece of legislation.
Do expect to be asked questions. If you don’t know the answer, don’t be afraid to offer to find out and send the information in a follow up email or letter/fax.
Do answer questions respectfully, but keep returning to your basic message.
Do attempt to find out if the person with whom you are speaking will support you/your issue before you leave. If they are not able to indicate support, don’t be afraid to respectfully ask why not If they are they undecided, ask how can you help them make a decision.
Do always thank the person with whom you are meeting for their time at the end of your visit. Try to end the visit on a positive note.
Do follow up with a thank you note you met with and include any follow up information you promised to send along (if any).
Remember you can sway some of these types of people with a simple understanding of their position.
Remember that your personal stories are important and can help the person with whom you are talking understand why they should support your issue.
If you are registered to vote (and if you aren’t, you should be), you should definitely feel comfortable mentioning that, especially if the person with whom you’re talking appears noncommittal or nonsupportive. You should explain that this issue is an incredibly important one to you personally, and you weigh in heavily in casting your vote.
Don’t show up without an appointment. This wastes everyone’s time.
Don’t make up facts or exaggerate the truth for dramatic purposes.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Don’t be surprised if your meeting winds up being staff, and treat that meeting as seriously as you would a meeting with the legislator himself/herself.