The insane prohibition on passengers smoking in airports was responsible for the evacuation of two terminals at JFK International Airport this week.
When a passenger returned to the terminal after being forced outside to smoke a cigarette he discovered he had left his boarding pass inside. No boarding pass means no entrance to the terminal. Rather than risk missing his flight the returning passenger reentered the terminal without going through the security checkpoint. Panic ensued, two terminals were evacuated with all the ejected passengers having to undergo the tedious and expensive security check when they were allowed to return. All this because most airport operators refuse to allow smoking within the terminals.
After September 11 the hassles associated with airline travel multiplied as new security measures were implemented. Homeland Security as well as busy airports had the opportunity to simplify the process and ensure safety by returning smoking to the terminals. Any attempt to do so was thwarted by anti-smoking operatives who, as always, are more interested in their narrow agenda rather than the well being of society as a whole. Congestion at the terminal checkpoints, security breeches and general chaos are the results of society allowing anti-tobacco to dictate public policy.
Smokers will smoke, especially in this era of almost inevitable flight delays, and will exit the terminals requiring reentry a few minutes later. It’s time for the Transportation Security Administration to demand that airports bring back smoking in the terminals. Let’s stop having this country destroyed by anti-tobacco fanatics.