New Providence, R.I., Regulations Take Effect Jan. 3

Discounted cigarettes, flavored tobacco part of ban

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The city of Providence, R.I., will begin enforcing its new tobacco laws on Jan. 3, a month after its victory in federal court, according to a report in the Providence Journal.

The city regulations bar stores from discounting cigarettes and selling tobacco products advertised with fruit and candy flavors.

The lawsuit against the city by the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) and others accuses Providence of violating their First Amendment rights. The city counters businesses remain free to communicate whatever they want.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary Lisi refused to block the city's efforts. See “Related Content” below.

Tobacco license holders who violate the new law face Board of License fines of at least $250. With three or more offenses, they may face suspension or revocation of their tobacco licenses.

Store owners with questions can call the licenses board at 401-421-7740.