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Stogie Tips: Lobby Effectively for the Cigar Cause

28 Mar 2011

Here at, one of our missions is to keep you abreast of important developments that can impact cigar rights, be they local, state, or national. If you’re informed, you have a chance to change the outcome. But to be an effective voice, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. The following are suggestions from my experiences with governments and from consulting recently with some politicians and staffers.

Focus on your legislator. Politicians respond to constituents. This is as true at the city council level as it is in the U.S. Senate. Your address should be near the top of all correspondence. As a former Hill staffer said, “You have a voice they want to hear if you have a vote they need.”

Know the bill number or name. There are so many bills at so many stages of the process, even in a small locality, that it’s difficult for anyone to keep up. Being specific will ensure that you make your point effectively and precisely.

Visit if you can. No one knows the impact of the personal touch better than a politician. If possible, schedule a brief meeting. If not, send a carefully constructed, single-page letter. It will have greater impact than an email.

Don’t copy a form letter. These usually get consigned to File 13 and may not generate a reply. Use your own words to express your own thoughts. Forwarding a copied email is even less effective.

Be business-like and professional. Always keep your goal in mind. Arguing, threatening, bullying, etc., are counterproductive.

Don’t bother with petitions. These rarely matter to politicians, unless they’re huge or involve a recall effort. A handful of committed, active constituents carries much more weight than dozens of people who simply signed their names, many of whom may not even be constituents.

But there is strength in numbers. Outfits like CRA and IPCPR can be effective. Even small groups can have a strong voice. Consider inviting your local rep or city council member to a meet-and-greet night at the cigar shop.

Be brief, polite, and to the point. This should go without saying. But if you aren‘t, you’re probably wasting your time.

George E

photo credit: Flickr

4 Responses to “Stogie Tips: Lobby Effectively for the Cigar Cause”

  1. Ed Monday, March 28, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    Good sound advice. I have used most of these suggestions save visiting when I have contacted my representative.

  2. Todd Monday, March 28, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Sometimes you don't need to say a threat but you do need to remind them that you'll remember how they act the next time they run for office. It gets the point across very effectively.

  3. THIS Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Stogie Tip for lobbying is a very informative post. Just by reading it I feel more prepared and inspired to fight for my cigar rights!

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  1. Commentary: Light Up Congress | The Stogie Guys - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    […] I hope you’re convinced. Taking action doesn’t really take much effort. Tips are available here. […]