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More U.S. Airports Are Smoke Free

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Three out of four terminals at Denver International Airport will soon become smoke free, according to USA Today. Currently, 27 of the 35 busiest U.S. airports ban smoking.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced last month that lease holders for smoking lounges in the three terminals have agreed to close them by the end of 2012, and remodel or replace them with smoke-free concessions. The fourth lounge, inside a restaurant, will not close until after its lease expires in 2018, the article notes. The mayor said his goal “is to get it to shut down sooner than later.”

Airports in Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas, Tampa, Memphis, Salt Lake City and several other cities have areas in which smoking is allowed. In some airports, the areas are located in bars or restaurants that may require a minimum purchase.

“There is a significant segment of our customer base that wishes to smoke, and past experience has demonstrated that these customers will often light up, even in areas where smoking is not authorized,” says Chris Jones, a spokesperson for McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. He said unauthorized smokers cause problems, such as “smoke in public restrooms or, in some cases, alarms being set off as individuals attempt to open doors that lead to secured outdoor areas.”

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