The city of San Luis, Ariz. has banned smoking in the newly renovated Moctezuma Park, and Mayor Gerardo Sanchez thinks it is the first step in making all of the city’s parks smoke-free.

The San Luis City Council formally approved the ban on May 14, though it doesn’t go into effect for 30 days after their passage. Sanchez told the Yuma Sun that “We decided to go slowly and to begin with just one park; I believe that little by little we will get the community accustomed to the prohibition against smoking in those areas.” While there are currently no fines for those who violate the prohibition, the council left the door open to adding them to the ordinance in the future.

A push to ban smoking in all parks has already been started by the group Southwest Youth Coalition Against Tobacco, who has been seeking a ban on smoking at all city-owned parks and recreation facilities for more than four years. Last summer, the group presented two clear plastic jugs filled with cigarette butts they collected from city parks to the council, along with an informal survey of park users that found 82 percent of the people they spoke to would support a city-wide ban on smoking in parks.

San Luis is a border town in southeastern Arizona’s Yuma County with a population of nearly 32,000 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.