New Study Praises Providence's Anti-Tobacco Efforts

Oct 14, 2013

A new study from public health researchers praises Providence’s efforts to curb tobacco use. The researchers say other cities should follow suit in banning certain tobacco retail practices.

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The study, from Washington University in St. Louis’ Center for Public Health Systems Science, looked at the city of Providence’s successful efforts to ban tobacco discounts and coupons as well as flavored tobacco products in retail outlets. The idea behind those bans: to discourage the youngest and most vulnerable potential users from taking up the habit.

The study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, commended the steps Providence took to put those bans in place, including an extensive public outreach campaign and winning two court challenges to the bans.

Providence also found creative ways to fund the new law by requiring a new annual licensing fee for tobacco retailers and charging fines for violating the law. The study’s authors did not assess the effect of Providence’s new bans so far on smoking rates.