During a special meeting on Monday night, the San Diego City Council passed a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, yet it will not apply to premium cigars after the city created an exemption for them.

To qualify for that exemption, however, a premium cigar must meet a few criteria: it must be handmade, it must have a wrapper that is made entirely from whole tobacco leaf, and it cannot have a tip, filter or non-tobacco mouthpiece. It must also have a wholesale price of no less than $12, which means that its sticker price would be around $24, a price point that is significantly higher than most flavored premium cigars currently on the market.

The council also exempted sisha (sic) that is used in hookahs, along with loose leaf tobacco. Also notable in the ban is that it includes products with menthol.

It was passed by a 7-2 vote, and will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, a delay that was created in order to await the results of the November election where voters will decide a statewide ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products.

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.