Arnold Accused of Illegal Smoking - NBC Bay Area

Arnold Accused of Illegal Smoking

Former California governor makes headlines in his home country



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    This photo was taken inside the "Tent" as it is called at the Capital. It was set up with the idea that because it is in the courtyard he can relax and smoke his cigars during meetings.

    A man who is attempting to get his acting career back on track finds himself once again in the political spotlight.

    Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger faces fines and legal action in his home country of Austria after he was seen with a cigar in his mouth at the airport.  Whether the stogie was lit is being  disputed, but someone at the airport must have thought it was because Schwarzenegger was cited at the time.

       Smoking at airports is banned in Austria just like it is in California.

    Austrian officials seem to want to make the matter go up in smoke. Salzburg municipal legal expert Josef Goldberger told a state broadcaster that Schwarzenegger can ignore any requests from authorities since the charge is not covered by treaties between the two countries.

    But a local reporter in Austria reported Tuesday that a lobbying group sent the fines imposed on Schwarzenegger to the U.S. embassy in Vienna in hopes it will force him to pay up.

    Airport spokesman Alexander Klaus, meanwhile, said none of the above matters because the cigar was not lit.

    "There were no puffs for Schwarzenegger," Klaus told the Associated Press.

    This is not the first time that Schwarzenegger has been in the news for lighting cigars. When he was first elected governor, he built himself a smoking tent on the Capitol grounds in order to make his way around the non-smoking rules there.