Mayor Angel Taveras and the Providence City Council passed two ordinances banning the sale of tobacco products and store discounts aimed at children. The tobacco industry sued to prevent the laws from taking effect.
What ensued was a lengthy legal battle. In a decision handed down on December 10, 2012, Rhode Island U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary Lisi ruled against Big Tobacco’s attempt to block Providence officials from enforcing the city’s new anti-tobacco laws. Big Tobacco appealed, and the fate of the ordinances now rests with the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The First Circuit will hear argument in the case on July 29, 2013.