RI highlights communities preventing youth tobacco use

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Health officials are highlighting three communities for their efforts to prevent tobacco use among teenagers and children.

The state Department of Health says Central Falls, West Warwick and Woonsocket are models for other municipalities.

High school students in those communities worked with lawmakers to research how the marketing of tobacco, pricing, promotions and product placements in stores affect teenagers and children.

The health department says based on the findings, Central Falls, West Warwick and Woonsocket began requiring retailers to have local licenses to sell tobacco products.

Each policy included provisions to address local concerns. Woonsocket banned flavored tobacco products. West Warwick requires tobacco products to be behind sales counters.

Central Falls was the first municipality in the state to raise the minimum age for legal tobacco purchases to 21.

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