Federal Court Upholds New York City’s Law to Prohibit Tobacco Discounts and Further Reduce Youth Smo
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2014
Ashley Trentrock, 202-296-5469
Court Upholds New York City’s Law to Prohibit Tobacco Discounts and Further
Reduce Youth Smoking
of Susan M. Liss
Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
DC – In a big win for kids and public health, a federal judge today upheld New
York City’s new law prohibiting the use of coupons and other discounting
schemes that make tobacco products cheaper and more appealing to kids.
The new law is designed to prevent tobacco companies from undermining the
city’s efforts to keep the price of tobacco products high in order to reduce
smoking and other tobacco use, especially among kids.
Thomas P. Griesa of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York rejected arguments by tobacco manufacturers and retailers that the law
violates their First Amendment rights and is preempted by federal and state
law. Judge Griesa found that the law regulates the price of tobacco
products, not speech about tobacco products, and serves the city’s legitimate
goal of reducing smoking and other tobacco use, especially among kids.
ordinance only regulates an economic transaction – the sale of tobacco products
below the listed price. It does not restrict the dissemination of pricing
information and thus, it does not violate the First Amendment,” Judge Griesa
district and appellate courts previously upheld a similar ordinance in
Providence, Rhode Island.
court rulings provide a boost to an important new strategy that state and local
governments can use to increase the price of cigarettes and other tobacco
products and reduce tobacco use, especially among kids.
companies know that kids are the most price-sensitive customers and that
discounting the price of tobacco products makes them more affordable and
appealing to kids. That is one reason why the industry spends billions of
dollars each year on price discounts. By prohibiting the redemption of
coupons and other discounting schemes, the New York City ordinance will reduce
youth tobacco use by maintaining high prices for tobacco products.
use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, killing
more than 480,000 people and costing at least $289 billion in health care bills
and economic losses each year. We applaud New York City’s leaders for
taking bold action to stop tobacco companies from preying on kids and for standing
strong against the industry’s legal attacks.
court ruling can be found at: http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/pressoffice/2014/2014_06_18_nyc_opinion.pdf
touts legal win over Big Tobacco
YORK DAILY NEWS
June 18, 2014
city Law Department is claiming a big win over Big Tobacco.
beat back a federal suit by Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, and Lorillard, which
claimed a city ban on the redemption of coupons, multipack discounts on smokes
and other measures violated their First Amendment rights and ran afoul of tax
District Court Judge Thomas Griesa concluded that the city did not overstep its
powers -- which do not extend to the distribution of free tobacco products --
by putting the restrictions on price cuts in place.
is a huge victory for the city’s comprehensive efforts to reduce tobacco
usage," Law Department Senior Counsel Nicholas Ciappetta said Wednesday.
restrictions will reduce the consumption of these highly addictive and deadly
products, thereby saving and improving the lives of countless New York City
discount redemption ban, which also nixes giving a lower price on other goods
when purchased with tobacco, is part of a larger city effort attacking the
availability of cheap cigarettes.
overall plan adopted last year also set a minimum price of $10.50 per pack for
cigarettes, as well as higher fines for the illegal sale of tobacco products
and heartier enforcement of the tax code.
Source: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids