The Athens City Council passed an ordinance last night that will ban smoking in all city parks as well as city-owned parking lots, a change that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015 and carry a fine of $50 for those who violate it. The fine can also be applied to people who throw cigarette butts on city sidewalks or streets.

The law covers all forms of tobacco, including cigars and pipes, as well as cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff or any other tobacco products. While it doesn’t include electronic cigarettes, reports that those products are on the radar as well to possibly be prohibited.

This new proposal has been in the works since October, with the council getting its first look at it in early November. Ohio University, which is in Athens, will be going completely tobacco-free beginning with the Fall 2015 semester, a move that will make it hard for a number of adults to use tobacco products, though that didn’t seem to bother Councilwoman Jennifer Cochran, who said that smokers will simply need to adapt.

Athens is located in southern Ohio and home to approximately 25,000 residents.


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.