IPCPR Legislative | Restrictions in Rhode Island

Restrictions in Rhode Island

rhode_island

Smoking, Age and Sampling Restrictions in Rhode Island

Rhode Island law prohibits smoking: in all enclosed public places, including aquariums, galleries, libraries, museums, professional offices, banks, laundromats, hotels, motels, bars, bingo facilities when a bingo game is in progress, convention facilities, elevators, entertainment facilities, health care facilities, licensed child and adult day care facilities, common areas in multiple unit residential facilities with more than 4 units, polling places, public transportation facilities, buses, taxicabs, restaurants, public beaches, restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, retail stores, places of meeting or public assembly under government control, schools, service lines, shopping malls, and sports arenas; and in all enclosed facilities within places of employment, including common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, medical facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, restrooms, vehicles, and all other enclosed facilities.

 

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-20.10-3: Prohibition of smoking in public places
R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-20.10-4: Prohibition of smoking in places of employment

 

“No smoking” signs or the international “No smoking” symbol (consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it) must be clearly and conspicuously posted in every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited, by the owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of that place. Every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited must have posted at every entrance a conspicuous sign clearly stating that smoking is prohibited. All signs must be attached at eye level and contain the following words “IT IS ILLEGAL TO SMOKE IN THIS ESTABLISHMENT”. To report a violation call ” .”

 

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-20.10-7: Posting of signs

 

Rhode Island law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local smoking laws in general, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances in this area.

 

Exemptions

 

The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Private residences, except when used as a licensed child care, adult day care, or health care facility
  • Designated hotel and motel rooms
  • Retail tobacco stores; provided that smoke from these places does not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited
    • “Retail tobacco store” means a retail store utilized primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories in which the total annual revenues generated by the sale of other products are no greater than 25% of the total revenue for the establishment.
  • Private and semi-private rooms or designated areas in assisted living residences and nursing facilities as allowed by regulation of the department of health
  • Outdoor areas of places of employment, except those where smoking is specifically prohibited
  • Smoking bars
    • “Smoking bar” means an establishment whose business is primarily devoted to the serving of tobacco products for consumption on the premises, in which the annual revenues generated by tobacco sales are greater than 50% of the total revenue for the establishment and the serving of food or alcohol is only incidental to the consumption of such tobacco products. Effective 7/1/2015, all existing establishments and establishments that open thereafter must demonstrate quarterly, for a period of one year and annually thereafter, that the annual revenue generated from the serving of tobacco products is greater than fifty percent (50%) of the total revenue for the establishment, and the serving of food, alcohol or beverages is only incidental to the consumption of such tobacco products.  Every owner of a smoking bar shall register no later than January 1 of each year with the division of taxation and shall provide, at a minimum, the owner’s name and address and the name and address of the smoking bar.  Smoking bars shall only allow consumption of food and beverages sold by the establishment on the premises and the establishment shall have public access only from the street.  Any smoking bar is required to provide a proper ventilation system that will prevent the migration of smoke into the street.
    • Smoking bars must submit a yearly affidavit to the Division of Taxation attesting to compliance with the above requirements. Division of Taxation staff reported that there is not a specific form for the affidavit.
  • Stage performances, provided that smoking is part of a theatrical production

 

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-20.10-6: Where smoking not regulated
R.I. Gen. Laws § 20-20.10-2: Definitions

Individuals under 18 years of age cannot purchase any tobacco in the form of cigarettes, bidi cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, flavored cigars known as “blunts,” unflavored “blunts,” flavored and unflavored blunt wraps, cigarette rolling papers of any size or composition, cigarillos and tiparillos, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, electronic nicotine-delivery systems, or snuff. Individuals under 18 years of age also cannot use or possess, when such possession is clearly visible, tobacco in any public street, place, or resort.

 

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-9-13: Purchase, sale, or delivery of tobacco products to persons under eighteen; posting notice of law
R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-9-14: Use of tobacco by minors

 

Department of Labor staff reported that the minimum age to work as a sales clerk in a retail tobacco store is 14.

 

It is illegal for any person to sell, give, or deliver to any person under 18 years of age any tobacco in the form of cigarettes, bidi cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, flavored cigars known as “blunts,” unflavored “blunts,” flavored and unflavored blunt wraps, cigarette rolling papers of any size or composition, cigarillos and tiparillos, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, electronic nicotine-delivery systems, or snuff.

 

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-9-13: Purchase, sale, or delivery of tobacco products to persons under eighteen; posting notice of law

 

Any person, firm, or corporation that owns, manages, or operates a place of business in which tobacco products are sold must post conspicuous notice in red letters at least 3/8 inches high on a white background:

 

THE SALE OF CIGARETTES, TOBACCO AND ELECTRONIC NICOTINE-DELIVERY SYSTEM PRODUCTS TO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 IS AGAINST RHODE ISLAND LAW (§ 11-9-13.8(1), Rhode Island Statutes) PHOTO ID FOR PROOF OF AGE IS REQUIRED FOR PURCHASE.

 

Signs must also be displayed prominently for public view wherever tobacco products are sold that state, in red letters at least 1/4 inches high on a white background:

 

WARNING: SMOKING CIGARETTES CONTRIBUTES TO LUNG DISEASE, CANCER, HEART DISEASE, STROKE AND RESPIRATORY ILLNESS AND DURING PREGNANCY MAY RESULT IN LOW BIRTH WEIGHT AND PREMATURE BIRTH.

 

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-9-13: Purchase, sale, or delivery of tobacco products to persons under eighteen; posting notice of law
R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-9-13.7: Signs concerning sales to individuals under age eighteen (18)
R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-9-13.8.1: Signs concerning the health effects of tobacco

 

Rhode Island law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local youth access laws, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances in this area.

Federal regulations prohibit free samples of cigarettes and limit free samples of smokeless tobacco products to certain age-restricted venues under several conditions.

 

Regulations Restricting the Sale, Distribution, and Marketing of Cigarettes, Cigarette Tobacco, and Smokeless Tobacco: Consumer Fact Sheet
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/ProtectingKidsfromTobacco/RegsRestrictingSale/UCM265540.pdf

 

In Rhode Island, the distribution of free tobacco products and electronic nicotine-delivery systems or coupons or vouchers redeemable for free tobacco or electronic nicotine-delivery system products to any person under 18 years of age is prohibited. Further, the distribution of free tobacco products or electronic nicotine-delivery systems or coupons or vouchers redeemable for free tobacco or electronic nicotine-delivery systems products is prohibited, regardless of the age of the person to whom the products, coupons, or vouchers are distributed, within five 500 feet of any school.

 

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-9-13.10: Prohibition on the distribution of free tobacco products

 

Distribution of tobacco samples is subject to tax and licensing requirements, as the term “sale” includes and applies to gifts, exchanges, and barter.

 

R.I. Gen. Laws § 44-20-1(10)

 

Rhode Island law contains no specific provision concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.

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