The Nobles County Board of Commissioners have approved a broad set of changes that will affect tobacco retailers in the rural county in the southwestern corner of the state that is home to approximately 22,000 residents.

The most notable of the changes, according to PrairieBizMag.com, is that new retail tobacco licensees will have to meet “certain requirements pertaining to proximity to schools, that the maximum number of retail establishments per county be based on U.S. census data, that roll-your-own machines be prohibited, that the minimum age of a tobacco seller be increased from 16 to 18 and that blunt wraps and imitation tobacco products be prohibited from sale in Nobles County.”

The changes come from a push to protect youth from exposure to to tobacco products, a movement led by the Public Health Law Center, the Local Public Health Directors Association and local grant partners, who led to the ordinance’s development.

According to the report, only one person spoke in opposition to the ordinance’s passage, a bar owner who worried that it might compromise her ability to make money on the sales cigarettes, which has already been compounded by the fact that tobacco taxes are lower in neighboring Iowa.

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.