Atlanta to Ban Smoking Completely at Its International Airport in 2020. I Support It.

Although smoking and “vaping” are currently restricted to specially designated smoking rooms and other certain specific areas of the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, an ordinance for a broad and complete ban will be in effect as of Thursday, January 2, 2020 — meaning that those smoking rooms on the concourses will be closed.

Atlanta to Ban Smoking Completely at Its International Airport in 2020. I Support It.

After members of the city council voted 13-2 in favor of the ordinance on Monday, July 1, 2019, legislation was signed by Keisha Lance Bottoms — who is the current mayor of the city of Atlanta — to ban smoking and “vaping” not only at the airport; but also in restaurants, bars, places of employment, hotel rooms and motel rooms, and numerous other enclosed public places within the city.

“Smoking was already restricted by a Georgia law passed in 2005, which prohibited smoking in restaurants and bars unless minors are banned or smoking areas are in private rooms with independent air-flow systems, or outdoors”, according to this article written by Kelly Yamanouchi of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “However, smoking will still be permitted in outdoor seating and serving areas of restaurants and bars.

Smokers who are passengers on flights connecting in Atlanta will have to exit the secure area of the airport during their layovers to use a designated smoking area outside of the terminal. Once they are finished smoking, they must return through the security checkpoint to be screened prior to returning to the concourses to continue on to their destinations.

Despite opposition at the meetings of the city council in Atlanta by restaurateurs and others, advocates claim that the protection of the public health is the reason for their support of this ordinance; and that “other places around the country have already adopted similar smoke-free ordinances.”

Summary

I never understood how or why someone in this day and age would even consider wanting to voluntarily start smoking or “vaping” — especially with all of the concerns pertaining not only to the health of smokers; but also the health of those who breathe second-hand smoke.

I have heard people say that they did not know about the full ramifications of smoking cigarettes when they were still considered cool; when they were smoked by celebrities; and when they were advertised freely in all sorts of media — yet my grandfather once told me that his doctor told him that he needed to stop smoking cigarettes due to health reasons. He subsequently quit smoking. That was in the year 1930.

Some people are allergic to cigarette smoke. They should not have to endure it at any time.

I seem to be one of those people who is a “magnet” of sorts for smokers and their cigarette smoke. If I am standing outside of a terminal at an airport to wait for a shuttle bus, I try to stay away from the standalone ash trays — but a smoker almost always sidles up beside me to light one up. A corollary is that I am always downwind from the smoke of a smoker — no matter where I move.

Forget about the health concerns. I cannot stand breathing in the second-hand smoke of a smoker. It is an uncomfortable feeling at best which causes me to cough.

I know people who have died from lung cancer due to smoking.

I agree with Matthew Klint that smoking is “a disgusting and expensive habit with horrific health ramifications”, according to this article which was posted at Live and Let’s Fly — but that is where my agreement with him ends. He is opposed to the ordinance. I fully support it. To my knowledge, smoking serves no beneficial purpose other than for retailers and manufacturers to profit financially; and other people should not have to suffer from second-hand smoke as a result.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

5 thoughts on “Atlanta to Ban Smoking Completely at Its International Airport in 2020. I Support It.”

  1. Nicholas Mackenzie says:

    While I accept that smoking is bad for you and those around, I don’t think it acceptable for you to take the moral high ground on this. For example, you take flights, large amounts of which serve no purpose other than to write a review. These reviews are largely replicated by other bloggers or bloggers.
    Given the above, do you not consider the effect of your job/hobby on the poorest people on earth? Next time you see thousands have died as a result of flooding consider your personal role in that.
    Might I suggest you don’t make judgements of others unless you are willing to be judged by the same standards.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      “Might I suggest you don’t make judgements of others unless you are willing to be judged by the same standards.”

      Funny, Nicholas Mackenzie — that is exactly what you just did with me. I take flights because I want to see the world, as travel is my passion and has been my passion long before The Gate — not because they serve no other purpose than to write a review.

      You completely lost me on how what I do affects the poorest people on earth and my “personal role” in how “thousands have died as a result of flooding”.

      I readily admit that I take the moral high ground on smoking — perhaps the only correct part of your comment — for a variety of reasons; and some of those reasons are very personal.

      I stand by what I wrote and how I feel.

  2. Gary Leff says:

    It’s a huge mistake to lump smoking and vaping together. Where are (serious) studies on the harm of water vapor?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I am not the person who committed that “huge mistake”, Gary Leff. Rather, the city of Atlanta committed it in their ordinance as according to the referenced article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

      Although I do not condone “vaping” — I also never expressed a personal opinion against it, either — someone else doing so would not bother me because there is no second-hand smoke or other direct way to cause me discomfort or affect my health, unlike traditional smoking, which I have always vehemently opposed.

      I do not know about serious studies on the harm of water vapor, but the federal Food and Drug Administration of the United States launched this campaign just last month pertaining to the high content of nicotine in products manufactured by JUUL and aimed to minor children and teenagers in the United States with the way they were marketed:

      https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/real-cost-campaign/fda-launches-new-campaign-real-cost-youth-e-cigarette-prevention-campaign

  3. Greg says:

    Awful article and I do not agree at all – this is coming from a non-smoker.

    Leave the designated smoking rooms alone, and please stop pretending you care about everyone’s personal health based on their smoking pastime.

    Btw if you want to speak stats, 4 out 5 lung cancer patients are from nonsmokers.

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