Updated March 28 at 1:28pm

Tobacco ordinances sure to create problems for Providence retailers

To the Editor: The city of Providence just passed laws that prevent the sale of noncigarette fruit- and candy-flavored tobacco products, as well as bans pricing and promotional strategies aimed at lowering the cost of tobacco products. The idea is to decrease the number of minors consuming tobacco products. But rather than punishing the citizens who help minors gain access to those products, the city is putting restrictions on the types of products that local businesses can sell. The result of this kind of thinking will only punish the people who sell the products legally.

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Tobacco ordinances sure to create problems for Providence retailers


The people of Providence who consume these products, which have now been deemed, for the most part, illegal to sell in the city, will not just stop buying those products. They’ll seek them elsewhere and take their business with them. This is going to hurt Providence businesses because those same people won’t just go somewhere outside the city to find those products, they’ll start making those outside businesses their choice for lots of other things that they buy, such as gas and groceries. Many people buy tobacco products as part of their grocery shopping, and so local businesses lose a lot more than just a few dollars from the sale of tobacco products.

This kind of government overreach is not only going to restrict job growth among local businesses that sell tobacco products, but will put current jobs at risk. Businesses will have to cut back on staff to off-balance their revenue losses.

The City Council should be listening to and supporting local retailers – not placing them at a competitive disadvantage compared to those stores just outside the city’s borders.

Dave Faria

Owner, East Side Mini Mart



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