The Olmstead County Board of Commissioners approved a new ban on smoking in county parks that will go into effect on May 1.

According to the ordinance presented to the board during its meeting on Tuesday, tobacco use will be prohibited at Chester Woods beach, Oxbow Park Zollman Zoo, and all playscapes and playground in the parks. Tobacco use will also be prohibited in Graham Park, except in designated areas.

Use of a tobacco product in a private motor vehicle on county property will still be allowed,all of the doors and windows on the vehicle fully closed in order to be in compliance. Exemptions have also been included for tobacco used in religious ceremonies with prior approval, and for products deemed to be a tobacco cessation product.

Results of the vote were reported by KROC-AM.

Olmsted County is located about 100 miles southeast of the Minneaspolis-St. Paul metropolitan area and is home to approximately 150,000 residents.

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.