Smoking is coming to an end in the 178 parks of the Rockford, Ill. Park District, as on Tuesday night park commissioners amended an existing restriction that is based on a state law which currently bans smoking within 50 feet of any building, playground or athletic field.

The ban does include an exemption for the district’s five golf courses, however, after the commissioners feared loss of business as cigar smoking is seen as part of the game’s culture.

The ban goes into effect on June 1 and comes with fines starting at $125 for a first violation before doubling to $250 for a second and $500 for a third, a range lowered from an alternate proposal that sought to keep them high as a deterrent.

The Rockford Park District covers a multi-city area of just over 208,000 people.

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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, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.