Federal Appeals Court Upholds Providence, RI Measures to Reduce Tobacco Sales to Kids
Monday, September 30, 2013
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
A big win in Rhode Island: A federal appeals court today
unanimously upheld Providence ordinances that prohibit sales of flavored
tobacco products and price discounts.
The court ruling can be found at: http://media.ca1.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/getopn.pl?OPINION=13-1053P.01A,
The City’s statement can be found here:
Congratulations to all involved. YAAH lil’ Rhody!
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2013
Peter Hamm, 202-296-5469
Appeals Court Upholds Providence, RI, Measures to Reduce Tobacco Sales to Kids
of Matthew L. Myers
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
In a win for kids and public health, a federal appeals court today upheld
sensible restrictions adopted by the City of Providence, Rhode Island, that
prohibit tobacco companies from using flavored products and price discounts to
three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
unanimously affirmed a U.S. District Court ruling from December 2012. The
appeals court upheld Providence ordinances that:
the sale of flavored cigars, smokeless and other non-cigarette tobacco products
except in certain adult facilities (flavored cigarettes are banned by federal
the use of coupons and multi-pack discounts (e.g., "buy-two-get-one-free”) that
make tobacco products cheaper and more appealing to kids.
became one of the first cities in the nation to adopt such measures when the
City Council passed them in February 2012.
appeals panel agreed with U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary Lisi’s "thorough
and well-reasoned opinion” that Providence’s restrictions are reasonable
regulations of the sales of tobacco products and serve the city’s legitimate
goal of reducing smoking and other tobacco use, especially among kids.
Like Judge Lisi, the appeals court rejected arguments by tobacco companies,
including Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard, that the ordinances
violated their First Amendment rights and are also preempted by federal and
applaud Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and the City Council for taking bold
action to stop tobacco companies from preying on kids – and for standing strong
against the industry’s legal attacks on the city’s laws. Mayor Taveras
said that he hopes today’s ruling "inspires other communities to follow our
lead and take a stand against Big Tobacco.” We couldn’t agree more.
Providence ordinances crack down on two tactics – sweet flavors and price
discounts – used by tobacco companies to lure kids. Tobacco companies have long
used candy and fruit flavorings to tempt kids and mask the harshness of tobacco
products for new users. The 2009 federal law granting the Food and Drug
Administration authority over tobacco products banned candy and fruit-flavored
cigarettes, but the FDA has not extended this restriction to other tobacco
products. Tobacco companies responded by introducing a barrage of new
flavored cigars and smokeless tobacco products.
Providence ordinance prohibits the sale of all other flavored tobacco products,
including cigars, little cigars and smokeless tobacco, except in certain adult
companies also know that kids are the most price-sensitive consumers and that
reducing the price of cigarettes and other tobacco products makes them more
affordable and appealing to kids. That is one reason why they spend billions of
dollars each year on price discounts. By prohibiting the use of coupons and
multi-pack discounts, Providence will increase the price of tobacco products
and reduce youth tobacco use.
use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, killing
more than 400,000 people and costing nearly $100 billion in health care bills
each year. We applaud the City of Providence for taking innovative action to
protect children from these deadly products.
court ruling can be found at: http://media.ca1.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/getopn.pl?OPINION=13-1053P.01A,
Source: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids