Tobacco companies sue to block NYC law banning cigarette coupons, discounts

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Tobacco companies and trade groups representing cigarette retailers have asked a federal court to block a new law designed to keep tobacco prices sky high in New York City.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Manhattan. It challenges a law 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 cost.

The ban on coupons and discounts also applies to other forms of tobacco.

Tobacco manufacturers and sellers say those restrictions on coupons are unconstitutional.

They want parts of the law blocked from taking effect in March.

The city’s Law Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.