cigarettes

Peter Franz / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

A new bill introduced in the House aims to give small business owners an even playing field when selling cigarettes. The bill mandates a 15 percent markup on retail cigarette prices.

The Providence City Council Ordinance Committee has voted to send a downtown smoking ban to the full council. The ordinance would prohibit smoking in a roughly nine-block area in front of Kennedy Plaza and City Hall.

Community advocates say the policy is targeted at the homeless. That’s because  they say previous bans on smoking in nearby park and bus terminals have pushed homeless onto the surrounding sidewalks.

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A new study finds mixed health results from CVS pharmacies’ decision to stop selling tobacco products. 

Harvard Professor Reginald Tucker-Seeley, Ph.D,  says when it’s easier to get tobacco in your neighborhood, more people smoke. So when CVS pharmacies stopped selling cigarettes, Tucker-Seeley wondered whether that might be good for all Rhode Islanders. He found that in neighborhoods with high rates of poverty and a greater percentage of black and Latino residents, there just weren’t as many CVS pharmacies. But there were plenty of other tobacco retailers.

Johnson and Wales Goes Cold Turkey

Jul 1, 2016
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Johnson and Wales celebrated a new tobacco-free policy today over cold turkey sandwiches. The policy makes JWU the first institution of higher learning in Rhode Island to ban tobacco from their campus. Former student government President Ray Nuñez  says the new policy will focus on encouragement rather than punishment.

"This isn’t a (sic) anti-smoking police system. We’re not going to have people going around giving citations for smoking. It’s going to be a culture movement, where people are going to be respectfully telling people ‘hey, we’re no longer a smoking campus.’"

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Rhode Island’s two U.S. Senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are pushing to increase the national smoking age to 21. The two lawmakers joined other Congressmen introducing the legislation Wednesday.

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Newport beaches and parks, and the historic Cliff Walk may soon become smoke-free. The Newport City Council has given a preliminary green light to a smoking ban.

Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano said the city council will likely give the smoking ban a final approval next month. She said most of the council members support the move, while a few others would like a compromise, such as designated smoking areas.

Napolitano said the benefit of a smoking ban on public beaches and in parks is two-fold.

Tripling In Teen E-Cigarette Use: Reason To Worry?

Apr 17, 2015
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the trend in smoking traditional cigarettes among teens is down. That's great news on many levels. But as traditional cigarette smoking has declined, the use of electronic cigarettes has tripled over the past few years.

Wondering whether to worry? Or even what the heck an e-cigarette actually is? I've been combing the latest research to help answer those questions.

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Lawmakers will consider legislation today that would up the legal age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products. Rhode Islanders can currently start buying cigarettes at age 18. 

The new legislation would bar people under the age of 21 from buying cigarettes, or any other tobacco related products.  That includes cigars, chewing tobacco, and the increasingly popular e-cigarettes.

The House Committee on health, education and welfare is taking up the bill.

file/CVS Health

It’s been a year since CVS Health announced it would remove cigarettes from its stores. The Woonsocket-based company is marking the day by making a donation to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The $5 million donation over five years will go toward programs that reduce tobacco use by kids and reduce their exposure to secondhand smoke. The first grants will be announced March 18th on “Kick Butts Day.”

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The American Lung Association has given Rhode Island a mixed report card on tobacco control.  While the state has the third highest cigarette tax, it lags behind in funding prevention.

The state got a “B” for its cigarette tax; the third highest in the nation.  The $3.46 in taxes slapped onto a pack of cigarettes has lowered smoking rates.   However it got an “F” for spending on prevention campaigns. 

Courtesy CVS

Pharmacy corporation CVS Caremark has officially changed its name to CVS Health.

The Woonsocket-based company announced the name change as a way to reflect its growth beyond a retail pharmacy chain into a multi-service health care company. Today, the $127-billion dollar CVS Health encompasses 7700 retail pharmacies, hundreds of walk-in medical clinics, a pharmacy benefits manager and more. CVS Health president Helena Foulkes says it made sense to re-brand now.

RI Smoking Rates Down, But Costs Still High

Nov 19, 2013
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The Department of Health has a new report out on how many Rhode Islanders smoke. While the number of adult smokers has declined, nearly one in five Rhode Islanders still smokes.

The City of Providence said it hopes more municipalities follow its lead and pass ordinances that curb the sale of flavored tobacco products. The First Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a pair of ordinances banning the sale of flavored tobacco products and some store discounts.

The ban went into effect last January. Peter Asen, director of Providence’s Healthy Communities Office, said it likely contributed to results of a new study showing low rates of smoking in 6th 8th and 12th graders