RI: Suit challenges Providence tobacco ordinances

AP News
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Posted: Feb 15, 2012 10:41 AM
RI: Suit challenges Providence tobacco ordinances

Several tobacco companies and others have filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Providence challenging new city regulations that tighten rules for selling tobacco.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Providence targets ordinances banning pricing strategies, such as "buy one, get one free," and sales of non-cigarette tobacco products marketed as having a fruit or candy flavor. The city says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned flavored cigarettes in 2009.

Mayor Angel Taveras signed the ordinances last month. They take effect March 1.

The complaint filed Monday says the ordinances violate the federal and state constitutions. The suit asks a judge to stop the city from enforcing the rules.

A city spokesman says the ordinances were adopted after a long period of public input.