no smoke

The Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah, US, has planned the closure of five smoking rooms, which are presently in use within five concourses at the airport.

The six-month plan will commence with the closing of the smoking room in Concourse D on 5 July this year, and will continue until the last smoking room closes permanently on 19 December.

The move is part of the $1.8bn Salt Lake City airport Terminal Redevelopment Programme, under which the designs do not include plans for building smoking rooms. First phase of the redevelopment programme is slated to be completed in 2020.

Commenting on the closure plan, Salt Lake City mayor Jackie Biskupski said: "This is first and foremost an issue of public health, both for travellers and our airport employees, but it is also an issue of space concerns.

"The current airport terminal is also beyond capacity, and every foot of available space should be used to the best advantage of the traveling public."

According to the public health advocates, the estimated health care cost as a result of smoking is expected to reach up to $542m in Utah this year.

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With the closure of the smoking rooms, the Salt Lake City International Airport will be able to free up more than 1,200ft2 of space in the five concourses.

"This is first and foremost an issue of public health, both for travellers and our airport employees, but it is also an issue of space concerns."

This space can be used for several other purposes such as retail, additional passenger seating space, and deploying charging stations for electronic gadgets.

Salt Lake City International Airport executive director Maureen Riley said: "We have thoroughly studied the issue of closing the smoking rooms.

"While we expect a mild change in routine for some using the airport, we anticipate no major impact in passenger movement or convenience in taking this step."

More than 600 of the airports across the US are currently smoke-free.

Image: The smoking room at Concourse D will be the first to be phased out. Photo: courtesy of redlegsfan21.