Tobacco businesses in the unincorporated parts of Lane County, Ore. will soon have a new set of rules to contend with, as the county’s board of commissioners passed a wide-ranging ordinance on Tuesday that should go into effect shortly after the first of the year.

First among the changes is that all 59 retailers of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes will now be required to purchase an annual tobacco retailers license from the county, with sales of the licenses going towards funding retailer enforcement activities, such as identification checks on customers, as well as community education programs about tobacco use. While the fee has not yet been formalized, it is expected to be $200 for a new license and $125 for a renewal.

Retailers will also be prohibited from offering any discounts or coupons for tobacco or electronic cigarette products. New retailers will also be required to be located a minimum of 1,000 feet from schools, day care centers, libraries, playgrounds, youth centers, recreation facilities or parks, according to The Register-Guard.

Violations for retailers not having a license or selling to minors could reach $1,500, with the possibility of having a license revoked for four violations in five years.

Minors are also subject to heavy fines if they are found in possession of e-cigarettes, including being required to attend a tobacco cessation or education class and pay a fine of up to $1,000 for repeated offenses.

While the changes only apply to businesses in the unincorporated parts of the county, health department officials hope the policies become a template that cities in the county can use. Three cities–Eugene, Springfield and Oakridge–already require tobacco retailers to have a license, but not e-cigarette retailers.

Lane County is located in western Oregon and has a population of just over 356,000 people. It includes the city of Eugene, home to the University of Oregon.

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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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.