This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Get out the nicotine gum.
Salt Lake City International Airport will soon close its smoking rooms.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Salt Lake City International Airport announced a plan Tuesday to phase out the five smoking rooms at the airport by year's end.
The change begins July 5 with the closure of the smoking room in Concourse D. The final smoking room will shut down the week of Dec. 19.
Design of the $1.8 billion Terminal Redevelopment Program could not accommodate space for smoking rooms, according to a statement from City Hall. The first phase of the remodel is scheduled for completion in 2020.
Closing the smoking rooms will free up more than 1,200 square feet in the concourses for other purposes possible retail space, charging stations for electronics and extra passenger seating.
"This is first and foremost an issue of public health, both for travelers and our airport employees, but it is also an issue of space concerns," said Biskupski. "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."
Salt Lake City supported a bill in this year's legislative session sponsored by state Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, that would have required the airport to close the rooms in compliance with the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act. The measure failed on a close vote by the Senate.
"Having been involved in this issue since last summer, I see this as a step forward for our airport and our state," Vickers said in a prepared statement. "I would have liked the Legislature to support this, but the timing is right and this is a positive and appropriate health move for our traveling public."
Maureen Riley, airport executive director, said her office has analyzed the impact of closing the smoking rooms.
"While we expect a mild change in routine for some using the airport," she said, "we anticipate no major impact in passenger movement or convenience in taking this step."
By keeping its airport smoking rooms open, Salt Lake City has remained an outlier in the United States. Currently, 27 of the 35 busiest U.S. airports are smoke free. More than 600 of the nation's airports are smoke free, according to Biskupski's office.
Smokers can still light up at the airport outside the terminals 25 feet from entrances, in accordance with the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act.
Smoking-room closure dates
Concourse D (470 square feet) • July 5
Concourse A (308 square feet) • Week of Aug. 15
Concourse B (396 square feet) • Week of Sept. 26
Concourse E (357 square feet) • Week of Nov. 7
Concourse C (598 square feet) • Week of Dec. 19