Atlanta Airport is among several airports that have recently passed legislation to ban smoking in public spaces including the airport. Over the past decade, several states such as Michigan, New York, and New Jersey have implemented legislation that bans smoking in public places including airports. The Atlanta airport is no exception to this trend as it has been smoke-free since January 2020. I recently wrote about smoking in top airports including JFK and Heathrow.
In this blog, we will look at the laws and regulations surrounding smoking at Atlanta Airport, why the airport has implemented a no-smoking policy, and what travelers can expect when visiting the airport.
Can I smoke at Atlanta Airport?
Prior to January 2020, smoking in Atlanta Airport was allowed but was officially banned when the Atlanta City Council approved the ban. On July 1, 2019, the Atlanta City Council, through a press release reported that it had approved legislation prohibiting smoking and vaping in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, city facilities, and other specified public places (Legislative Reference No. 19-O-1205).
Below is a snapshot of the specific ordinance;
To safeguard the public against exposure to secondhand smoke, the law recently passed prohibits smoking and vaping in bars and restaurants – with the exception of outdoor seating or serving areas.
Below is a snapshot of the press release from July 2019;
The 2019 change in the Atlanta Indoor Air Ordinance laws which regulate smoking in public places and places of employment has been in place since 1977 when the City of Atlanta adopted the legislation to curb indoor smoking. The Atlanta Airport was one of the first public places to implement a no-smoking policy in the city as part of its commitment to promoting health and wellness.
Which public places is smoking not allowed in Atlanta?
According to the ordinance, “Public place means an enclosed area to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted, including, but not limited to, banks, bars, educational facilities, health care facilities, laundromats, public transportation facilities, reception areas, restaurants, retail food production and marketing establishments, retail service establishments, retail stores, shopping malls, sports arenas, theaters, and waiting rooms. A private residents is not a public place unless it is used as a licensed child care, adult day-care, or health care facility.”
Specific laws prohibiting smoking in Atlanta Airport:
The main clause in the Ordinance 19-O-1205 which prohibits smoking at Atlanta Airport is covered in Section 86-32. The law which aims to ensure indoor air is not contaminated by second-hand smoke, states that smoking is not allowed on all premises of the airport. That includes the terminal buildings, airside areas including concourses and boarding gates, as well as outdoor areas such as drop-off zones and parking decks.
However, the law exempts from the prohibitions contained in the Smokefree Air Act.
Atlanta Airport operator is therefore allowed to designate special smoking zones which are clearly marked and equipped with appropriate ventilation systems. However, the law states that these smoking areas should not be located in any building or location where smoke would likely enter an area occupied by non-smokers.
Smoking is strictly prohibited within 25 feet of the Terminal entrance and persons under 18 are not permitted to smoke in any designated smoking zones.
Where to smoke at Atlanta Airport?
Your best place to find designated spots to smoke is close to Concourse T which connects to the Domestic Terminal. Below are the locations in the Domestic terminal where you can smoke;
- Domestic Terminal North – Lower Level, close to Door N in the Area Between Doors N3 and N4
- Domestic Terminal – South Main in Door LN1 and Door LN2
- Domestic Terminal – South Lower Level in Area Between Door S1 and S2 and in Area Between Doors S4 and S5 and in area close to Door S6
- Domestic Terminal North – Main outside Door LS1 and Door LS2
Where to Smoke in Atlanta Concourse A:
Unfortunately, there are no designated smoking zones in Atlanta’s Concourse following the change in laws in 2020. The Concourse only serves Delta Airlines. In my research, I found that this concourse has a smoking lounge called Tap Gastropub Smoking Lounge but could not ascertain as its Facebook page hasn’t been active since 2018 – before the law was passed. I would, therefore, recommend that you don’t consider smoking in this area.
Smoking at Atlanta Concourse B:
There is nooking at Atlanta Concourse B, following the change in laws in 2020. A designated smoking zone within the concourse is not allowed due to health and safety regulations.
Smoking at Atlanta Concourse C & D:
The same rule applies to both of these concourses – no designated smoking areas are available as per the new law.
Smoking at Atlanta Concourse E, F and G:
Since 2020, there have been no designated smoking zones in any of these three concourses.
Overall, smoking at the Atlanta Airport is not allowed unless you are in a designated smoking area. I would recommend that you check the official website for further information on other public places where smoking is not allowed. As it stands, if you wish to smoke in Atlanta Airport, you should make sure to check the current smoking laws and regulations before doing so. Failure to comply with the law may result in hefty fines or other legal challenges. So it’s best to be informed and stay safe!
Is smoking at Atlanta Airport allowed?
No, smoking is not allowed at the Atlanta Airport unless you are in a designated smoking area that complies with smoke-free laws.
Are there any designated smoking areas at Atlanta Airport?
Yes, although these are limited in number and are not located in every terminal or concourse. The best place to find designated spots to smoke is close to Concourse T which connects to the Domestic Terminal.
Are there any smoking lounges at Atlanta Airport?
We could not find an active smoking lounge at the airport. Some sources suggest that there used to be a Tap Gastropub Smoking Lounge in Concourse A, but its Facebook page has been inactive since 2018.
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Name: Alex Mutuma
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