by: angela garrity
The LA Times is reporting that the city of Beverly Hills votes to ban tobacco sales but exempts a former California governor’s favorite cigar club.
For the elite who flooded committee meetings and wrote in protest, the city answered by exempting cigars – as long as they’re smoking inside one of three dedicated lounges.
Prior Hollywood actor turned former governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s beloved hangout on North Canon Drive is one of these that has been given a free pass from the city. The Grand Havana Room is so exclusive, the members of this cigar aficionado clique are given a special key to gain entry.
Schwarzenegger supported the citywide ban on all forms of tobacco and vaping but made it evident that his favorite hangout spot should be granted a free pass.
In the near-final approval in the unanimous vote by City Council Tuesday night, the former actor wrote in support of his club saying and against tobacco saying, “The Grand Havana Room, which I have been a member of since its inception, provides a treasured home away from home. It is unthinkable that the city might adopt a policy that would intentionally or unintentionally cause the closure of this character-defining institution.
I am right there with you. I agree with your battle to protect people from the dangers of tobacco smoke.
I trust that [the city] will recognize the fundamental difference” between clubs like the Grand Havana Room and a gas station selling nicotine pods for e-cigarettes.”
The list of banned items includes cigarettes, cigars, cigarillo, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, and smokeless tobacco and any electronic cigarette.
Tuesday’s vote was the first of two required to enact the ban. It passed unanimously, in a moment so bureaucratically unremarkable that the council had to stop to note that it had happened.
“We should point out with that, we just passed the ban on the sale of tobacco in Beverly Hills,” said Councilman Julian Gold.
Read the full article here.