You can forget smoking on property owned by Muskegon County in the coming months, as the county’s Board of Commissioners recently voted to ban the use of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes on county-owned and leased properties, including in vehicles on those properties. The vote was held Thursday at the Board’s Community Development/Strategic Planning Meeting.

According to a story on, the nine-member Board voted 8-1 in favor of the measure, with Commissioner Susie Hughes the lone voice of opposition, citing concerns with enforcement, protection of businesses in the area who sell tobacco products, as well as the rights of people to smoke in their own vehicles. She also cited concerns for county employees who smoke and may be forced off the grounds of their workplace.

Other commissioners were concerned about the enforcement of the rule, but none enough to vote against it. The ban was described as being more of a “public education act” than an enforcement issue by board chairman Ken Mahoney.

The new ordinance will be rolled out in two phases, with the first beginning on January 1, 2014 for Community Mental Health Services of Muskegon County sites. Remaining county properties will see the ban go into effect on July 1, 2014, and enforcement of the law being handled by the Muskegon County Sherriff’s Office. The only exception provided in the legislation is for traditional or cultural events taking place at Heritage Landing, a public space which hosts concerts and festivals.

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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.