Denver International Airport closes last smoking lounge

Denver International AirportCredit: Denver International Airport.

Denver International Airport (DIA) is now a completely smoke-free facility. According to KMGH-TV, the airport’s last smoking lounge closed on March 1, 2018.

The Colorado Tobacco Free Alliance launched a campaign to make the airport smoke-free nearly 10 years ago, in June 2008.

Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery said they have been working on closing all the lounges, but had to wait for one last lease agreement, with Smokin’ Bear Lodge, to close the last lounge.

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Designated smoking areas at the airport are now located outside the Jeppesen Terminal on levels 4, 5, and 6, according to the airport. There are also designated smoking areas on level 2.

“We support Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s efforts to create a healthier Denver by becoming a smoke-free facility,” airport CEO Kim Day said. “This journey began in 2012 with the initial closure of three other indoor smoking lounges, and today we are completing that goal with the closure of the last smoking lounge. We look forward to transitioning the C Concourse smoking lounge into an exciting new restaurant in the months to come.”

DIA is now one of 620 other airports in the United States that are smoke-free, including 30 of the top airports in the country.

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A recent CDC report found that 27 of the world’s 50 busiest airports still allow smoking in some area. Among the top 10, half allow smoking: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International, Dubai International, Hong Kong International, Paris’s Charles de Gaulle, and Tokyo International. The remaining top 5 are smoke-free: Beijing Capital International, Chicago O’Hare, London Heathrow, Los Angeles International, and Shanghai Pudong International.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson spokesperson Andrew Gobeil defended their policy to USA Today, explaining that “Creating a smoke-free policy would force smokers to find locations throughout the airport to light up and expose other guests to secondhand smoke. And smokers might move outside the terminal and create an additional burden on security lines as those passengers re-enter screening areas.”