A series of new tobacco sales regulations passed its first vote Tuesday night as the Sonoma City Council voted unanimously in favor of them.

Chief among the changes is a prohibition on any new retailers selling tobacco products. Currently, there are 15 tobacco retailers in the city, and should the proposal pass its second reading, all of them would be required to get a new license in order to keep selling tobacco, one that costs $246 per year. Revenue raised from those license fees would go to funding an underage sting program in the city and enforcement of tobacco related laws.

In addition, tobacco product advertisements would be prohibited, and the sale of cheap, flavored tobacco products would have new restrictions placed on them. A new minimum price of five dollars would be required for the sale of any individual cigar, while the majority of flavored tobacco would be prohibited.

The Press-Democrat reports that approximately 20 people attended the city council meeting to speak on the matter, including a number of tobacco and e-cigarette retailers who opposed the proposal.

The Sonoma City Council next meets on June 1, and if passed the new rules would go into effect on Sept. 1.

Sonoma has a population of approximately 11,000 people and is located 45 miles north of San Francisco.

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.