sweet deceit


Tobacco Free Providence Director Peter Asen presents a citation from Mayor Taveras to RIC Student Nursing Association President Ericka Samoorian and Treasurer Alicia Harris

Mayor Taveras Applauds Student Leaders and RIC School of Nursing for new Tobacco-Free Policy

This fall, the Rhode Island College School of Nursing established a tobacco-free policy to become the first college in Rhode Island that has gone tobacco free, joining a growing number across the country. The move received the applause and appreciation of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Rhode Island Department of Health Director Dr. Michael Fine. On November 21, Healthy Communities Office and Tobacco Free Providence Director Peter Asen was present with Dr. Fine at RIC for a ceremony to celebrate the policy, and to present a citation from Mayor Taveras.


The policy was developed out of a student project and led by RIC Student Nursing Association (SNA) President Ericka Samoorian; SNA Treasurer Alicia Harris; and SNA Project Coordinator Alexandra Gadbois, all members of the class of 2014. The students worked to develop and conduct a survey of RIC nursing students which found that 87 percent of students would support the policy change. Nursing Dean Jane Williams worked with the students to institute the policy, believing it was the right move for the students’ health, as well as for their future careers, given that a growing number of health care facilities will not hire tobacco users, including Lifespan, the state’s largest employer of nurses.


The policy prohibits nursing students from using tobacco products on the campus or any time they are in a school of nursing uniform, in recognition of the important role of student nurses as providing positive examples of health promotion and healthy behavior.


Dean Williams reported at the ceremony that since the policy went into effect in September, she has not had a single student complaint.

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Who wants to be a Tobacco-Free Providence Ambassador?

In continuing its work to promote responsible business practices, Tobacco-Free Providence has designated 22 local tobacco vendors as Tobacco-Free Providence Ambassadors. Mayor Taveras’ Healthy Communities Office invites additional retailers to apply to become ambassadors, in recognition of their adherence to city, state and federal tobacco laws. Ambassadors will receive a free window sticker promoting their participation, as well as a citation from Mayor Taveras, thanking them for helping to keep tobacco out of the hands of minors.


Local vendors must meet the following criteria to be eligible:


-Have a current City of Providence tobacco registration and be up to date with state tobacco sales license

-Does not sell single cigarettes/loosies

-Always card/ID customers that appear to be underage

-Staff trained not to sell tobacco to minors, and have practices in place to deter selling to minors

-No tobacco fines/violations within the previous 12 months

-Store owner must agree to comply with additional city ordinances banning the sale of flavored tobacco and the redemption of tobacco coupons and manufacturers discounts once they are implemented later this year.


Tobacco-Free Providence Ambassador Window Decal


Stores that are currently enrolled in the Ambassador program include:


Anthony’s Drug Store  (219 Manton Ave.)

Broadway Liquors (361 Broadway)

Cristina Market (524 Smith St.)

Diana Market (115 Knight St.)

Dixi Mart/7-Eleven (548 Atwells Ave.)

Elmhurst Market (659 Smith St.)

El Encanto Market (508 Plainfield St.)

Esquire Liquor (824 Charles St.)

Favian Liquors (500 Cranston St.)

Grasso Gulf (35 Plainfield St.)

Junio Mini Market (294 Pocasset Ave.)

Kelly’s car wash (200 Charles St.)

La Guira Meat Market (531 Hartford Ave.)

Lopez Liquors (461 Smith St.)

Madeira Liquors (174 Ives St.)

Portuguese American Market (896 Allens Ave.)

Reyes Food Market (701 Cranston St.)

Reyes Liquors (1187 Westminster St.)

Sanchez Enterprises (676 Broad St.)

Summit Liquors (452 Hartford Ave.)

Sunrise Market (1222 Smith St.)

V &J Grocery (272 Public St.)

We Gas (1344 Westminster St.)


Have questions or want to apply? Please contact Peter Asen at 401-421-2489 x753, or

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Tobacco-Free Providence rally a huge success!

Thanks to our 150+ supporters from across the city (and state) who joined us for our rally on Monday, August 20 in downtown Providence to celebrate the city’s efforts to protect kids from tobacco products. Along with food, music and activities, speakers at the event included Mayor Taveras, Providence City Council President Solomon and Majority Leader Yurdin, Danny McGoldrick, a national tobacco research expert, Director of the R.I. Department of Health, Dr. Fine, and a recent Classical High School graduate. Check out some event photos below!

Over 150 supporters gathered at Burnside Park on August 20 to celebrate Tobacco-Free Providence and the steps Providence has taken to protect youth from tobacco products


Even the DJs showed support!


Tobacco-Free Providence volunteers passed out food for attendees


“Sweet on the outside, deadly on the inside”


Attendees at the event signed a support banner


Director of the R.I. Department of Health, Dr. Fine, showed off his Tobacco-Free Providence t-shirt while speaking to the crowd


Mayor Taveras spoke at the rally, enforcing that the health and wellness of Providence youth comes first


Attendees held signs and cheered as they listened to speakers at the rally

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Less than 4 days until our rally – be there on Monday at 5pm!

We’re inching closer to our big event on Monday, are you planning on standing with us?


We’re inviting you to join Mayor Taveras, Providence City Council leaders, national tobacco prevention leader Danny McGoldrick from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Tobacco-Free Providence team, and Providence residents of all ages from across the city to celebrate our efforts to build a city free from the harmful effects of tobacco.


Join us on Monday, August 20 at 5:00pm at Burnside Park (Kennedy Plaza) in downtown Providence. Our rally will feature a speaking program, followed by food, music, a raffle, and Tobacco-Free Providence activities for everyone. Free parking is available at the Biltmore garage.



For more information, call (401) 421-7740 x733 or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


See you at Burnside Park on Monday at 5:00pm.


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Seen our ads and want to learn more?

We’ve previously talked about Sweet Deceit (flavored tobacco products designed to attract new, young smokers, and lower prices to make tobacco more accessible to youth). Check out these quick tobacco facts, below!


Regarding flavored tobacco products:


-Candy and fruit flavors mask the bad taste and smell of tobacco, making it easier for kids to start using tobacco products?

-Flavored tobacco products are just as addictive as regular tobacco products. Many kids think flavored tobacco products are safer than regular tobacco products – this isn’t true. All tobacco products contain nicotine, the primary addictive chemical that makes it so hard to quit using tobacco?

-Tobacco companies sell sweet-flavored tobacco in the form of cigars, cigarillos, dip and other products that look like breath mints and gum. Some flavors include strawberry, peach, chocolate, apple and blueberry. These products can get kids hooked – they may not seem as harmful because of their taste and packaging, but they are.


Regarding tobacco pricing:


-Research shows that increasing the cost of a pack of cigarettes is the single most effective deterrent to smoking. According to the American Lung Association, a 10% increase in the price of cigarettes reduces consumption by about 7% for youth and 4% for adults.

-Youth are the most responsive and sensitive to cigarette price increases. And making it as inconvenient, difficult and expensive for kids to get cigarettes reduces the number of kids who try or regularly smoke cigarettes.


To learn more about these topics, visit www.

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Want to learn more about us?

We’ve been hard at work – maybe you’ve been following us on Facebook or Twitter, checking out our events or noticing our new ads pop up around Providence. We’re on a mission to educate Providence residents about the dangers of using tobacco products.


Here’s a quick video that recaps our efforts: 


You may have also heard the buzz about candy- and fruit-flavored tobacco products and pricing discounts and promotions. To us, this is nothing more than Sweet Deceit. Flavored tobacco products are designed to attract new, young smokers, and lower prices make tobacco more accessible to youth.


We have Providence leaders, such as Mayor Taveras and Providence City Council members, along with Danny McGoldrick, a national tobacco research expert, coming to our rally on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 5:00pm (Burnside Park, next to Kennedy Plaza.) They’ll be speaking about the tactics used to lure kids, and why these products and pricing schemes are so dangerous. Most importantly, we’ll be celebrating the progress our city has made to protect our kids from these dangerous products.


Keep an eye out for Tobacco-Free Providence on buses across the city!


Have a question you’d like to ask us directly? Weigh in on on Facebook or Twitter! For questions regarding our upcoming rally, call (401) 421-7740 x733.


If you’re looking for more information on Sweet Deceit, check out!

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Think like an Olympian

With the 2012 Summer Olympics in full swing, now is the perfect time to think about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.   Every Olympian currently overseas in London has worked hard to maintain the greatest standard of physical health. While we can’t all be Olympic athletes, every one of us can try to be our healthiest by eating well, exercising and staying away from tobacco products.


Olympic athletes need strong hearts and lungs to push through their demanding, high-intensity competitions. Although we may not all be Olympians, we all need strong hearts and lungs to live long, healthy lives.  Tobacco products may lead to many different forms of cancer, heart disease and emphysema.  Poisoning your body with tobacco won’t help you become a champion – having the confidence to say “no” to tobacco products will.


The Olympic Games take measures to ensure the health and safety of the competing athletes, including protecting them from secondhand smoke. Smoking is banned inside of the Olympic and Paralympic venues, as well as in all enclosed public places in England. Outdoor venues enforce smoke-free laws as well, with very few designated smoking areas. Olympic athletes know better than to risk something so important – their health. Apart from a gold medal, tobacco puts lives at risk – the most valuable possession of all.


Follow the example of our Olympic heroes this summer. Be the healthiest champion that you can be by avoiding dangerous tobacco products!



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Join our 8/20 rally for a healthier city!

Join us for our rally on Monday, August 20 at 5:00 PM in Burnside Park (Kennedy Plaza). Our rally will feature a speaking program, followed by food, music, a raffle, and Tobacco-Free Providence activities for everyone. See our flyer for more details.

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Video: Building a Tobacco-free Providence

We’ve been hard at work helping to build a city free from the harmful effects of tobacco. Check out our latest video that recaps our efforts:

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Smokeless Tobacco is ancient history – let’s keep it that way!

Despite sounding like a modern invention to attract more tobacco users, smokeless tobacco is a thing of the past. This chewable substance, often known as chew or snuff, dates back as early as 3500 B.C.! Why has something so dangerous and unappealing remained popular for so long, you ask?  Well, many in the past had an excuse that we don’t – they didn’t know any better.


Many people in ancient Peru and Mexico saw any form of tobacco as a valuable trading substance.  Smokeless tobacco was thought to some, in those days, to have medical benefits. Native Americans used to use tobacco to treat insect, snake and spider bites. In the 1800s and early 1900s, many  in the U.S. thought it would whiten teeth, or cure scurvy and other deadly diseases. There were, however, many others who were wise beyond their years and knew the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco that are so well-known today.


Long ago, in China, the sentence was death if you were caught with any form of tobacco. King Louis XV of France banned smokeless tobacco from his court for over 50 years, and King James VI of Scotland raised taxes on any form of tobacco by 4,000 percent! Not only was smokeless tobacco seen as a health risk, but also a vile and ugly habit.


In recent years, it has been found that smokeless tobacco may lead to potentially fatal illnesses such as gum disease or oral cancer.  On top of the health risks,  smokeless tobacco can take a toll on your wallet.  Here in Providence, we’re doing all we can to make sure our residents are informed about the dangers of using tobacco products.


So, leave what’s history in the  past and, together, build a brighter, safer and healthier future for us all that’s free from the harmful effects of tobacco.




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