It’s now illegal to light up your cigar in a lounge in the Minneapolis suburb of Prior Lake, but if it’s an electronic cigarette, you’re good to go.

The City Council approved a handful of rules changes on Monday, including an ordinance that prohibits smoking lounges, unless they are exclusively used for e-cigarettes. The council also approved an ordinance that requires all businesses selling tobacco and tobacco-related products to obtain a separate license according to the Prior Lake American.

The ordinance continues to allow the sampling of cigars in cigar stores, though the spirit of the law is that customers won’t smoke the whole cigar in the store under the auspice of sampling. Smoking a cigar is legal in tobacco stores in Minnesota under the guise of sampling and in private lounges that do not sell tobacco. The Minnesota Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007 allows for municipalities to impose further restrictions, which is what Prior Lake has done.

The final ordinance has not yet been posted, but discussion can be found here in minutes from the council’s April 13 meeting.

Prior Lake is located about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis and is home to just under 25,000 residents.

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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 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.