Hartsfield-Jackson to close smoking rooms to comply with new city ban

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport plans to permanently close its smoking rooms on Jan. 2, 2020 to comply with a new city ordinance.

Earlier this year, the city of Atlanta passed an ordinance banning smoking and vaping in the world’s busiest airport, in restaurants and other public places. It takes effect Jan. 2.

While Hartsfield-Jackson plans to close its smoking rooms on the concourses, the airport says on its website that it now has designated outdoor smoking zones outside of the domestic and international terminals, located at least 25 feet from a terminal entrance.

At domestic terminal North, there are outdoor smoking zones on the main level outside door N1 and between N3 and N4, and on the lower level outside doors LN1 and LN2. At domestic terminal South, there are outdoor smoking zones on the main level outside door S6, between doors S1 and S2, between S4 and S5,and on the lower level outside doors LS1 and LS2.

The airport says on its website that it plans to launch a 30-day “smoking passenger accommodation program” starting Jan. 2, which will involve offering complimentary nicotine replacement therapy lozenges to passengers who can’t easily access the airport’s outdoor smoking zones.

Roughly two-thirds of passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson are merely connecting between flights on the concourses, and would have to exit security to get to the smoking zones outside of the domestic and international terminals.

“While Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is in full compliance with the City of Atlanta smoking ordinance and the state of Georgia’s Smoke Free Act, we realize that for many passengers, smoking is a part of their daily activity,” the airport says on its website. It said that’s why it will offer the lozenges at participating concessionaires throughout the concourses from January 2-31, 2020.

The airport says the ordinance will be enforced by the Atlanta Police Department, and those who violate it by smoking or vaping inside the airport will be subject to a civil penalty, or fine, of up to $200.

The airport plans to convert the smoking rooms to other uses, such as concessions.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.