Arnold Schwarzenegger Among Power Players Who Lobbied for Beverly Hills Tobacco Ban to Exclude Cigar Lounges

Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks during an interview at the fitness and bodybuilding event Arnold Classic Brazil in Sao Paulo on April 12, 2019. (Credit: Miguel Schincariol / AFP / Getty Images)

Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks during an interview at the fitness and bodybuilding event Arnold Classic Brazil in Sao Paulo on April 12, 2019. (Credit: Miguel Schincariol / AFP / Getty Images)

The city of Beverly Hills is expected to approve what officials say is the most stringent tobacco ban in the country, eliminating the sale of virtually all recreational nicotine products — with one very Beverly Hills exception.

For an elite group of aficionados, hundreds of whom swamped committee meetings and wrote the city in protest, cigars will be spared — as long as they’re smoked inside one of three dedicated lounges.

Entreaties have poured in from top executives at real estate offices, security firms, talent agencies — and from former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Nearly all of them are acolytes of the Grand Havana Room on North Canon Drive, a club so exclusive its members need a special key to get in.

“The Grand Havana Room, which I have been a member of since its inception, provides a treasured home away from home,” wrote Schwarzenegger, whose letter was among those the city received in support of the club. “It is unthinkable that the city might adopt a policy that would intentionally or unintentionally cause the closure of this character-defining institution.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Owner Rigo Fernandez poses for photos smoking a cigar in his Buena Vista Cigar Club in Beverly Hills on May 10, 2019. (Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images)

Owner Rigo Fernandez poses for photos smoking a cigar in his Buena Vista Cigar Club in Beverly Hills on May 10, 2019. (Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images)

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