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Case Detail


Nat’l Assoc. of Tobacco Outlets, Inc. v. City of New York
On June 18, 2014, a federal district court in New York dismissed a First Amendment challenge to a New York City ordinance that prohibits many common promotional practices for tobacco products, such as use of discount coupons. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief in support of the challenge. WLF argued that the prohibited practices constitute speech protected by the First Amendment, and that the law does not adhere to limitations applicable to all restrictions on truthful commercial speech. The law includes bans on discount coupons, offering discounts for the purchase of more than a single tobacco product, or even advertising a “sale” price. The court rejected WLF’s contention that the law is not a mere economic regulation to which the First Amendment is inapplicable. WLF had noted, for example, that coupons have a clear expressive element: they convey a “try me” message that has proven successful in attracting those who use competing brands.
Case Status:
Loss. Monitoring for appeal.
More Information and Downloads:
4/29/2014: Download the Brief

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