While about a quarter of the 2.4 billion people who travel by air every year are smokers, smoking bans have restricted where these travelers are able to smoke, particularly once through passport control when they can move around less freely

Airports sometimes provide designated smoking areas but too often they are poorly designed, located and ventilated. However, JTI has revolutionized smoking area thinking by developing the smoking lounge concept – pleasing design and comfortable spaces combined with state of the art ventilation.

Smoker and non-smoker benefits

JTI’s current portfolio of smoking facilities caters for over 200,000 smokers per day around the world. This clearly demonstrates the genuine need for a practical solution to smoking in public places.

The benefits have been appreciated by smokers and non-smokers, according to David Francis, the head of Worldwide Duty Free at JTI. “It’s easy to understand why these lounges are held in high regard by those who use them to enjoy a welcome escape from the stress of travel,” he explains.

He describes them as an excellent example of fair-minded regulation, demonstrating JTI’s belief that it is possible to develop win–win solutions for smokers in public environments.

David Francis

"We deliver solutions that cater for those who wish to smoke but which also meet the legitimate interest of those who don’t want to be exposed to tobacco smoke"

David Francis, General Manager, Worldwide Duty-Free


JTI’s first smoking lounge was opened at Zurich Airport in 2002. And there are now over 300 smoking facilities worldwide. This number increases year on year.

Ventilation technology

At the heart of the JTI smoking lounge is sophisticated ventilation technology that extracts smoke and introduces fresh air. The entire lounge design is built around minimizing the opportunities for smoke to drift and to avoid odour.

Smoking lounges welcome adult smokers into elegantly designed, contemporary spaces with comfortable seating. Another benefit is the location of smoking lounges, closer to airport facilities such as duty-free shops, bars and restaurants. The solution is tailored to each individual airport and its adult travelers’ needs. 

David says JTI is very confident in the future of the smoking lounge concept: “We are open to discuss and develop partnerships with any international airport based on the same spirit of cooperation that characterizes all our projects.”

Airports will continue to be transited by millions of people looking for a ‘small oasis’ where they can smoke. Not only are smoking lounges extremely important for passengers, they have become a crucial service for airports themselves. With over 20% of smoking passengers being influenced with their choice of airports by the provision of smoking facilities, airports must remain competitive in this extremely fast-paced environment.

“We’ve never stood still. We’ve become increasingly creative, looking for ways to provide adult smokers with what they want and expect from us” concludes David.

To discover the locations of JTI smoking lounges, visit the interactive map

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JTI’s first smoking lounge was opened at Zurich International Airport