Security at the Indianapolis International Airport will be putting a halt to smoking anywhere on the airport property. One staff member I spoke to calls this ban the strictest smoking ban in the nation and believes the ban has gone too far by including areas outside the airport.
The new ban prohibits people from smoking near the doors of the terminals as well as in cars, the parking lots and any other part of the airport that shelters passengers
The Indy Airport is one of many airports that offer a public smoking room. That too was expected to be closed August 1, 2007 when the ban was supposed to be fully enacted.
Indy’s smoking room used to be located just off the main hallway. It was tucked away next to the Homeland Security office well out of the way of other passengers.
The Indianapolis Airport smoking room’s location has made some locals wonder about the closing, especially when comparing it to the St. Louis airport. In St. Louis the smoking room is located on the main walkway and has a wide open doorway that doesn’t close to contain the smoke.
The punishment for getting caught smoking on the property is a $50 fine for the first offense in a one year period and a $200 fine for getting caught more than once in the same year. Airport officials are not expecting to receive too much flack from passengers over the ban.
Indianapolis International Airport is not the only airport with smoking restrictions though. No, they are not alone in their quest for smoke free flying. The San Francisco International Airport only allows smoking outside the terminal and even that is restricted to a designated smoking area at the far end of the terminal.
If you are a smoker in Seattle you’ll have to actually ride a train to get outside far enough to light up and take a drag before having to ride a train back inside fast enough to catch your flight.
It used to be years ago before we knew that smoking caused cancer, airports were known for their hazy, smoke-filled atmospheres. No one worried about second hand smoke and the effects it could have on you.
As medical technology has progressed our knowledge of the side effects of smoking has progressed as well. This newfound knowledge has led companies and organizations to create stipulations on smoking which has been supported by the government with its attempts at banning public smoking.
The fight over public smoking is a tug of war that’s sure to never come to a complete end with smokers fighting for their right to smoke a legal substance on one side and non-smokers fighting for clean air on the other side.
On one hand you have Joe Camel being put down for influencing young people and on the other you have man’s right to harm his own body if he so desires and a parent’s right to not educate their children about smoking. Where should the line be drawn between what is right for the sake of healthy air for all mankind and what is right according to the American constitution for every individual self?
What establishment will be next on the chopping block when it comes to banning public smoking? Will smokers no longer be allowed to smoke in their own front yards? Where is Phillip Morris’s responsibility for clean and healthy air? If I have to pay a fee for my car to be smogged why isn’t the Phillip Morris company having to pay a clean air tax for every cigarette they sell?
At least in Phoenix you can stop into one of the eight bars and have a cigarette with your drink. You do have to actually buy a drink to sit at the bar but that’s a small price to pay for a smoke when you’ve been cooped up in an airplane for 5 long hours in the middle seat of the middle row, next to a snoring 80 year old woman who farts in her sleep.