Tobacco companies challenge city's coupon ban
Tobacco companies and three trade groups representing cigarette retailers asked a federal court on Thursday to block a new law designed to keep tobacco prices sky high in New York City.
The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan, challenges a city ordinance passed last fall that set a minimum price of $10.50 for every pack of cigarettes sold in the city, and prohibited the use of coupons or other promotional discounts to lower that price. The coupon ban also applies to other forms of tobacco.
Tobacco manufacturers and sellers say those restrictions on discounts are an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights.