It took a month longer than planned due to an absent council member and what appeared to be a split vote, but the city of Albert Lea, Minn. has passed a smoking ban.

With the passage of the ordinance at Monday’s meeting, smoking will now be banned at all City Parks, City Hall, the City Arena and in vehicles parked in those locations, with violations charged as petty misdemeanors. The seven-member council voted 4-3 in favor of the ban.

The city has not posted details of the ban, including when it will go into effect and any fines associated with it.

Albert Lea has a population of just under 18,000 residents and is located in the southeastern part of the state, about 100 miles south of Minneapolis.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.