Legislators in Alexandria, Minn. are looking at closing a loophole that would prohibit sampling of tobacco products and electronic nicotine delivery devices in the city.

At its regular meeting on Monday, councilors heard from the public on the matter as they considered a piece of legislation that they say would end the practice of stores being turned into de facto smoking lounges under the guise of customers trying out products.

Additionally, the proposal would require any new tobacco or e-cigarette stores to be located at least 1,000 feet from schools, playgrounds, churches or other youth-oriented facilities. It would also require that little cigars or cigarillos be sold in a minimum package of five, unless the individual price was $2.10 or higher.

EchoPress.com reports that public comments on the matter were split, with the council voicing concerns about the rules and that tobacco stores might not be fully aware of the proposed changes. They voted 4-0 to send the proposal back to the city’s legislative committee for reworking as well as for time to gather additional information, including input from business owners.

Alexandria had a 2013 population estimate of 11,580 people, It is located approximately 130 miles northwest 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 MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.