Ban Smoking and Lighters in Planes and Airports: Fire and Jet Fuel? Everyone Knows Better

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I strongly encourage a ban on incendiary devices aboard planes, whether a person carries it in his/her clothing or stores it in a carry-on bag. We should also ban smoking on airport premises, including parking facilities. No one has a good reason to have a match or lighter on a plane, and yet most people will be surprised to know their fellow passengers may legally board an aircraft with an incendiary device. For everyone’s safety, this ban must be implemented immediately.

A complete ban on smoking on airport property effectively complements the ban on lighters and matches aboard an aircraft. If people can’t smoke at airports, why would they need to carry a match or lighter on the premises? We will also enjoy much cleaner air on planes, as people that smoke will no longer be able to board while covered in smoke residue (third-hand smoke).

Our airports serve as a welcome mat for tourists and other travelers. How do non-smokers feel when greeted by a cloud of smoke as they exit our terminals? Outside smoking sections simply don’t work. I have yet to see smoking sections enforced at airports and, even worse, most of them are right in front of taxi lines or other gathering places. Besides, smoke travels too, and poison is poison whether you inhale it inside or outside. We should encourage expanding the recent ban of electronic cigarettes to include airport premises. While e-cigarettes may not emit smoke, they do put out harmful fumes that non-smokers should not have to endure.

I’m not advocating a restriction on the rights of smokers to smoke. Rather, I want to protect the rights of non-smoking travelers (86%): their right to clean air on all airport premises, within the facility itself, and on-board an aircraft.

Click here for more about third-hand smoke.

Stephen Barth

Stephen Barth, an attorney, professor, and author of Hospitality Law, Intelligent Emotions: On Self Responsibility, Owning Our Emotional Power and Changing Our Reactions, and co-author of Restaurant Law Basics, is well-versed in the world of hospitality law. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Houston, Conrad N. Hilton College, he was an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University. With over twenty years of experience in hospitality operations, including line positions, management, and ownership, Professor Barth is a regular guest speaker covering a variety of issues for national, regional, and local industry associations and businesses. Professor Barth is a member of a select group of instructors worldwide designated by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association to instruct its Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) program. Recently, he has been quoted in many national publications including: Hotel News Now, Leisure & Hospitality International, USA Today, Successful Meetings, NBC News, and the Los Angeles Times.

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