All things considered, CASAA has had a good run. Since our inception in 2009, we’ve helped elevate the voice of consumers to a degree that top officials at the Food and Drug Administration make public statements acknowledging the benefits of vaping and other smoke-free alternatives. We need your help to keep this energy going.
As you well know, CASAA membership is free. We provide all of our services and information to the public without asking for much in return. We don’t sell our members’ data and we don’t put up paywalls. We rely 100% on voluntary donations. So when we tell you that we’ve seen an almost 40% decline in donations over the past year, understand that it means our ability to continue providing information and services is in grave danger.
The truth is, if every person who read this post donated just $2.00, we’d have the funding we need to stay operational for the rest of the year. If even half of those people signed up for monthly $2.00 donations, our operating costs would be covered, and we could start implementing plans for expansion.
What would expansions look like for CASAA?
- Let’s get some real lobbying power. Lobbying firms are expensive and for years consumers have been left to rely on industry associations to provide lobbying resources such as access to lawmakers and even seats at public hearings. We need our own voice in legislatures and we need to pay for it on our own.
- Expanded Programs. Prepping for spoken testimony, educational materials for lawmakers, and PR campaigns all require up-front investment of money and people power. More funding = more staff and more opportunities to reach people outside of the vaping community.
- Sustained defense against enduring threats. Just because the FDA is promising to crack down on non-compliant manufacturers after September 9, 2020, doesn’t mean that our fight is over. Anti-nicotine idealogues are pressuring all levels of government to enact stricter laws that are creating new problems and we need to be equipped to respond as well as proactively fix existing bad policies.
I know it might sound weird to say that after ten years CASAA is just getting started, but looking at it from a historical perspective we know that movements like this can take generations just to hit their stride.
Looking to the future, we know that there is already a mountain of bad policies that we need to tear down. We’re having that conversation today about issues involving race, law enforcement, and healthcare, so the time is ripe to broaden the discussion and include tobacco and substance use policies that require reform.
I hope it’s becoming clear that consumers are the number one stakeholder in the debate about tobacco harm reduction. While we can reasonably expect industry stakeholders to defend their businesses, the responsibility for standing up against discriminatory policies and ethical breaches among researchers falls at the feet of people who use nicotine. There is no one there to protect us and many who claim that they have our best health in mind are almost eager to dismiss us when we point out the consequences of their “protection.” We have to support ourselves and build our own movement.
Now more than ever, consumer support of harm reduction strategies is vital to improving public health and preventing expansion of the war on drugs to target people who use nicotine.
P.S. Donate $2.00 today and help fund our efforts into 2021. Make your gift a monthly donation and help us grow our operations into the next decade.