Providence, R.I., Bans Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

New laws also prohibit pricing, promotional strategies

Angel Taveras

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Providence, R.I., Mayor Angel Taveras has signed and officially enacted laws to prevent the sale of noncigarette fruit- and candy-flavored tobacco products and to ban pricing and promotional strategies aimed at lowering the cost of tobacco products, such as buy-one-get-one-free.

Providence youth, particularly low-income children, are smoking at significantly higher rates than other Rhode Island youth, according to a statement issued by the mayor's office.

"Providence's children represent the future of our city, and we must put their health and wellness above the economic interests of the tobacco industry," said Taveras. "I am pleased to sign these ordinances, which will help reduce youth access to tobacco products and put Providence on the map as a leader in public health efforts."

The City Council recently adopted the legislation after reviewing research findings that show how strong public policy and careful oversight of tobacco helps to reduce youth smoking rates, the mayor said.

"Research suggests that by making it as inconvenient, difficult and expensive as possible for youth to obtain cigarettes, it reduces the number of youth who try or regularly smoke cigarettes," added Michael Fine, M.D., Rhode Island's director of health.

(See Related Content below for previousCSP Daily News coverage of the flavor ban issue.)