October 4, 2012 (Tuscaloosa, AL) — The Tuscaloosa City Council will soon be discussing a moratorium to ban some businesses from opening and operating within city limits, including tobacco shops.

The ban was introduced by Tuscaloosa City Councilman Kip Tyner after he learned of a tattoo parlor’s intentions to re-open after recovering from tornado damage. The proposed ban is intended to help the city council complete “research” into economic development and business recruitment in “mixed use” zoning areas of the city.

“It is incomprehensible that elected public officials would be allowed to discriminate against certain businesses and play favorites with others. In a down-economy and in the process of rebuilding from devastating tornado damage, this is the last thing the city council should be backing,” said Bill Spann, CEO of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.

Reagan Starner, of R & R Cigars, feels that the city is overreaching their rights. “This is yet again another case of the government trying to run the lives of free, private citizens as opposed to letting them decide for themselves. This restriction on business, any business, is counter-productive in this economy and for this town,” he remarked.

The City Council is expected to discuss this issue within the next two weeks.

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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 Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.