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SFATA True Value Memberships – Q&A

Q. How are the SFATA True Value Memberships different than the old SFATA memberships?

A. While the old SFATA memberships were preset cost levels based on the type of business you were or the amount of revenues your company takes in, the new SFATA True Value Memberships levels are 100% members’ choice. You pick the level of investment you want to make in your trade association now! As your investments increase, so does our ability to provide more benefits with the additional funding. You only pay for what you want from us now, and we can better deliver on the things that are important to you under the new “value-based” membership level program.

Q. Am I losing any benefits by being automatically transitioned to a corresponding level in SFATA True Value Memberships?

A. No. No one loses a thing. Those at the Basic level membership will see no change. But, every level above “Basic” has added benefits never before delivered by SFATA to our members!

Q. What happens to my previous SFATA membership if I paid for a year already in an annual payment for one of the old membership types?

A. You have been automatically transitioned to the new level in SFATA True Value Memberships that your old membership dues covered entirely. You can upgrade, if you desire. But, there is no requirement that you do anything at this time.

Q. What will happen to my previous SFATA membership if I was paying monthly under the old membership types?

A. For now, you have been transitioned to the corresponding level under the SFATA True Value Memberships program which your old membership will have covered entirely by the end of your current 12-month installment payment plan. At your anniversary date, your payments will change to the installment plan levels of the new program. But, you will be given the option to pick a new membership level under the new program, if you prefer.

Q. I’m thinking of increasing to a higher level SFATA True Value Membership to get some of those great new benefits. But, I paid my old membership dues up-front in an annual payment and am not due for renewal for a while. Will I get “credit” for the unused portion of my old SFATA membership if I “level up” now?

A. Yes! It will require SFATA staff to assist you in getting this done. But, it is definitely possible. Essentially, we have a formula that will use your old anniversary date and your old level to determine the remaining value on your old membership’s annual dues lump payment. We then apply that toward whatever higher level you choose and you pay only the difference to begin enjoying the higher benefits. Contact for assistance.

Q. If I was paying monthly installments before, how will my payments change under the True Value Membership if I choose to remain at my transitioned level for the remainder of my previous annual membership period?

A. There will be no change until your anniversary date. At that point, your payments may change very slightly each month if you do nothing. You will definitely be given the option to change your membership level when your old annual membership’s installment payments expire on your anniversary date.

Q. I’m thinking of increasing to a higher level SFATA True Value Membership, but I haven’t yet finished out my 12-month annual membership I’ve been making monthly payments on already. How will payments I’ve already made on the old annual membership monthly installments be counted toward the new one?

A. If you choose to increase your level before your renewal date and you have been paying for the old SFATA membership in monthly installments, we will simply reset your anniversary date and start a new annual membership in the new program. If you upgrade before your old membership expires, we will essentially forgive your remaining monthly installment payments under your old membership. You will start your monthly installments at the new level under the new program immediately and start enjoying the enhanced benefits without waiting!

Here is how easily that works. You just sign up for the higher level under the SFATA True Value Memberships program. Then, be sure to contact us directly so we can make sure that our old processor shuts off your previous monthly charges that covered your old membership. Please, contact for assistance with shutting off the old payments only after you have signed up for the new upgraded membership level to avoid confusion and to ensure your benefits are not interrupted.

Q. Can I begin enjoying the added benefits at the new level I’ve been transitioned to under the SFATA True Value Memberships program? Or, do I have to wait until I start paying for the new program on my own membership anniversary date with SFATA?

A. You get these added benefit from Day One!

Q. Some of my new benefits are qualified with an asterisk that means “when available.” Why is that?

A. One of the values of membership in SFATA is our ability to aggregate member investment in a sort of “crowdfunding” for very expensive business tools that would cost individual members far more if they purchased them on their own. But, we can’t procure these tools until we have enough combined interest from our membership to pay for them.

In other cases, we are only making this benefit available if the activity described takes place. For instance, we give our higher tier members a large discount on Expo space. Naturally, this benefit only applies if Expo space is put up for sale by SFATA in the future. We qualify the benefit in these cases because we don’t want to appear to be making any promises we can’t keep.

Q. One of my new benefits I am excited to use is a discount for outside service providers. How do I take advantage of that right away?

A. This varies by provider. But, generally, you will contact the outside provider directly first and identify yourself as a SFATA member to receive the SFATA member price. At higher membership levels, there are even some services that will be free to you! In those cases, the provider will invoice SFATA for our portion of your services with them.

Notable exception: For those who take advantage of the NFIB membership discount... SFATA will issue rebates to those members who demonstrate they have paid for a new or renewed NFIB membership since the start of their membership in the SFATA True Value Memberships level that include this added benefit. Contact with your request for rebate and your receipt from NFIB.

Q. What does “company wide access” mean for member-only content on the new SFATA website?

A. Our new website has the ability for our member companies to add additional users from their staffs so that larger companies can have the right people accessing the SFATA resources for planning, updating account records, etc. Every member company will have one primary login attached to the primary company email address. But, higher tiers will be also able to add more users to their accounts, as needed. You can also adjust the access levels for the secondary users so an owner can limit the account access, but allow marketing and other departments to get in and see other member-only resources we make available. Of course, all members are welcome to just have one person able to log into the site, if that is your preference, too.

Q. If I take advantage of the FDA legal counsel discount with Keller and Heckman (Azim Chowdhury) through my new SFATA True Value Memberships benefits, will I be assured of “Client-Attorney Privilege” or will SFATA be privy to my conversations?

A. When you take advantage of this great new benefit to get the experienced legal counsel you need in a changing federal law/rule landscape; you will become a direct client of the law firm. Whether you enjoy the all-member discount or the higher-level benefit of SFATA-paid billable time, you will sign a “Letter of Agreement” with the law firm that sets up your own billing and also gives you the protection of Client-Attorney privilege. SFATA will never know what you are discussing with the lawyers as these discussions are protected under the law with this arrangement.

Q. SFATA True Value Memberships level I am considering lists the opportunity to purchase higher level benefits “a la carte.” What does that mean?

A. In the near future, we will be rolling out opportunities (possibly limited time offers) to purchase some of the awesome upper-level benefits apart from having to upgrade to those levels entirely. For growing companies that want these additional benefits, but aren’t quite able yet to invest the funds in their trade association’s work to deliver all of a higher level’s benefits, this will be a fantastic option. Note that this ability to buy additional benefits that are not in your own membership level is not available as part of the “Basic” membership. You must be at least a Bronze member to take advantage of these offerings. Upgrading mid-year is always possible, though, if you are a Basic level member and decide to “level up” to Bronze in order to take advantage of this a la carte benefit buying opportunity in the future.

Q. I received notice about all of this in “snail mail” and/or saw this discussed on social media, but received nothing else about it directly via e-mail. Why is that?

A. We have sent out multiple member emails about this. So, if you aren’t receiving them, something is wrong. First, check your spam folder (you should add us to your address book to avoid our emails being tagged as spam). If the emails aren’t there, you should log in to your profile on our new website and make sure your correct current email address is listed as the primary contact. If you continue to have trouble, please contact

Q.  Are my membership dues or other donations I make to SFATA tax deductible?

A. Contributions, dues, or gifts to Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes. However, they may be tax deductible under other provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. For tax year 2017, we estimate 80% of dues will go to the organization’s lobbying activities. Please consult your tax advisor.

Q.  If my previous annual membership was paid on installments and my card is being charged monthly, do I need to enter my credit card information into the new site?

A. We would prefer you do!! It is the only way your new account in the system is easily kept up to date with proper crediting for your monthly dues payments.  PLEASE CONTACT US at to let us know you are doing so.  We have a new processor and our staff will need to put in a "stop" order with the old processor to avoid duplicate charges.  Just email us your receipt showing you have set up payments under the new system and a note asking Lynda to stop recurring charges under the old website's processor.

Note: If you do nothing, your card will continued to be charged by the old processor for the time being.  And, it will be up to you, if this is your choice, to forward those payment records to Member Services so staff can manually "credit" your new account to avoid automatic default in the new system.