This week, the Blue Earth County Board of Commissioners passed a ban on the use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes on county-owned property, which includes parks and other open spaces as well as buildings such as the county courthouse and parking structures, even within a privately owned vehicle.

The ban does have a handful of exemptions, notably while using or visiting individual campsites, on open water and within private vehicles on parks property. There is also an exemption for tobacco use during as part of traditional spiritual or cultural ceremony that has prior county approval.

The ban goes into effect on April 1, 2020.

Blue Earth County is home to approximately 67,000 residents and is situated approximately 100 miles southwest of the Minneapolis metro area.

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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.