Judge rules for Providence in kids tobacco suit

PROVIDENCE, RI – District Court Chief Judge Mary Lisi has ruled in the City of Providence's favor on a case involving tobacco companies and marketing to children.

Tobacco companies sued Providence earlier this year after the city passed ordinances that banned the sale of certain kinds of tobacco products and marketing efforts it said were aimed at children. The court's ruling means that Providence can go ahead and enforce those ordinances. They'll prevent the sale of products like fruit- and candy-flavored cigarillos, or short cigars, which the city says have become more popular with kids. Health department director Dr. Michael Fine praised the court's ruling.

"The city of Providence has done a great thing by moving in this direction. We hope other cities and towns will think about other ways of keeping kids from smoking," said Fine.

The plaintiffs in the case included several of the biggest tobacco companies and tobacco-related business associations. Their suit alleged the city's bans violated First Amendment commercial speech rights.

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