Fewer and fewer U.S. airports still offer special lounges where smokers can light up in a controlled environment, but Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International has apparently decided to stick with them in spite of a specific request from the U.S. Surgeon general.
According to Atlanta’s WXIA TV News, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy recently said in a tweet: “World’s busiest airport can be its healthiest. Make Atlanta Airport tobacco-free.”
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) May 18, 2015
But when the station talked to airport officials, they said they have no plans to eliminate ATL‘s 12 smoking lounges even though other major airports have done just that. The report said 28 of the nation’s 35 largest airports now ban all smoking in their terminals.
The Atlanta Airport smoking lounges were recently renovated, getting new ventilation systems, windows and flooring. Officials said as long as the smoke is contained within the lounges, it shouldn’t present a problem to other passengers. However a recent CDC study refutes that claim, and I know I get a several whiffs of second hand smoke when near the lounges.
WABE reports that Phillip Morris paid for the lounges initially, but that the City of Atlanta is responsible for maintaining them.
Should ATL and other airports get rid of smoking lounges… or not? Please leave your comments below.
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