Date: November 4, 2009 11:58:26 AM EST
Subject: Protect Your Right To Purchase Tobacco Products
*** URGENT – PLEASE CALL BEFORE THURSDAY ***
*** The US Senate committee will be voting this week ***
Your Senators will be voting shortly to make ALL TOBACCO PRODUCTS NON-MAILABLE!!!
(This has ALREADY BEEN PASSED in the House of Representatives !!!)
Please contact BOTH your Senators by phone, email, or regular mail.
(We have provided all of their contact information below.)
(You do NOT have to identify yourself as a smoker.)
Otherwise, we will be unable to continue providing the
low cost tobacco products you have been enjoying !!!
HOW TO CONTACT YOUR SENATORS:
TELEPHONE: You can directly dial your Senators office using the number shown for them below, or you can dial 1-800-828-0498 (this is a toll-free number) to be connected with a Capitol Switchboard Operator. Simply ask the Operator to connect you with your Senators Office.
Time is crucial at this point, so a phone call is by far the best choice for contacting your Senators.EMAIL: Simply go to each of your two Senators websites shown above and find the Senators contact form. Fill in the required information, type your message and click the “Send” button.
REGULAR MAIL: Send a letter to your Senator at their LOCAL offices nearest you. You can find the addresses for local offices on the Senators’ websites or by looking in your telephone book’s government section. It is important that you send your letter to your Senators’ local office since mail often takes months to reach a Senator’s Washington, DC office due to increased security at the Capitol.
EVERY TELEPHONE CALL, EMAIL AND LETTER MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
YOUR SENATORS NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU ON THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE!
THE SITUATION: Right now there is legislation pending in the United States Senate – the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009 (“PACT Act”) (S.1147) which contains, among other bad ideas, a provision to make ALL cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products nonmailable. This legislation has already been passed by the House of Representatives and is currently in a Senate Committee that could send it to the Senate floor at any time for a vote!
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU: By making all cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products nonmailable, the Senate is ensuring you will no longer be able to purchase these products by mail-order, telephone order, or over the Internet because the United States Postal Service, along with UPS, Fed-Ex and all other carriers, will be prohibited by law from delivering your orders to you. Taking away your options means forcing you back to buying over-priced tobacco products from your local retailer once again.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP: Native American cigarette and tobacco sellers are committed to doing everything we can to stop the PACT Act, but we need your help. Your Senators work for you and as their constituents, it is your voice and your vote that counts!
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact your Senators and tell them not to pass the PACT Act. Your Senators should be protecting your interests, but it is up to you to let them know what you think about the PACT Act. There are three easy ways to contact your Senators – by telephone, email, or regular mail – all of which are explained below. Every state has two Senators – please remember to contact BOTH Senators for your state. At this point time is crucial, so a phone call is by far the best means to use.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS YOUR OPINION: As an American Citizen, it is your right to let your Senators know how you feel about any action Congress takes. You elected your Senators to represent you and they can only do this if you tell them what you want. When you contact your Senator you do not need to identify yourself as a smoker or as someone who purchases cigarettes and/or smokeless tobacco products by mail-order, telephone-order, and/or the Internet. You only need to identify yourself as a resident of the state they represent.
SOME CONCERNS ABOUT THE PACT ACT TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR SENATORS:
THE POSTAL SERVICE: The price of stamps is being raised practically every year. The PACT Act will take an entire class of legal, non-hazardous goods and make them nonmailable. What this means is a huge loss of business (potentially hundreds of millions of dollars) for the Postal Service. Will they continue to raise the price of stamps and other mail services to compensate for their lost income? The United States Postal Service is already suffering a fiscal crisis due to the downturn in the economy. If the PACT Act is passed and millions of dollars of revenue are taken away, there could be serious consequences for consumers, including reducing the number of delivery days from 6 per week down to 5 or perhaps only 4 days per week.
COST: When the PACT Act of 2003 (S.1177) passed the Senate, the Congressional Budget Office prepared a Cost Estimate for the Bill. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the PACT Act of 2003 would cost about $140 MILLION over the 2004-2008 period to enforce. $140 Million over four years – and that estimate is already six years old. How much will the PACT Act of 2009 cost to enforce? Isn’t there a better way to spend our tax dollars?
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR SENATORS:
1. Tell your Senators that you are one of their constituents and provide an address so they know where in the state you are from. Since anyone can contact a Senator, it is important that you let your Senators know that you live and vote in their home state. Because the Senators receive so much mail, mail from their constituents always takes priority.
2. Make it clear to your Senators that you DO NOT want them to pass the PACT Act of 2009 (S.1147). Let your Senators know that if they don’t support you – you won’t support them.
3. This bill presents undue hardship to many smokers who are older, and shut-in with limited mobility. It is unfair to prevent them from ordering tobacco products through home delivery.
4. This bill represents discriminatory pricing as the majority of smokers are lower-income, many on a fixed income. It is discriminatory to force them to pay higher prices.
5. This bill represents discriminatory taxation as smokers were forced to pay an additional increase of more than $7 a carton in new federal taxes earlier this year.
6. This bill represents unlawful double-taxation as Internet and mail-order retailers are already collecting and paying federal and state excise taxes in the state where the tobacco is purchased.
7. This bill represents discriminatory restriction of trade towards smokers as all other lawful products can be purchased through the mail-order and through the Internet. Let your Senators know that if they don’t support you – you won’t support them.
CONTACT YOUR UNITED STATES SENATORS