The free sample is a staple of many cigar events, but it could become a thing of the past in San Jose, Calif. if the city council decides to act on a proposed ordinance at its meeting on Tuesday night.

Up for debate is an ordinance known as “Butt Out of Bars” which seeks to prevent the sampling of cigarettes and chewing tobacco or snus at bars in the city, yet language in the ordinance provides for no exemption for cigar stores and would in theory prevent premium cigar retailers from offering free samples to customers, either with purchase or without. It would also prevent offering coupons that would mark down the cost to twenty-five percent of the full retail value of the item exclusive of taxes and fees.

The ordinance also includes electronic cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices.

San Jose is the third largest city in California with a population just over 1,015,000 people.

Update (June 2, 7:42pm ET) — The San Jose City Council passed the bill today by a vote of 9-2 according to the San Jose Mercury.

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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.