No smoke therapy for airport smokers?

Officials propose a smoking ban on the airport's campus. / Jessica Fairley

If a new proposal goes through, people who fly may not have anywhere to smoke at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

Restaurants, hotels, and other public venues have ousted smoking and now airport officials are considering following the trend.

"Multiple studies have shown that secondary smoke is almost as bad as smoking itself," said Dr. Bill Mayher, Albany-Dougherty Aviation Commission Chairman.

Dr. Mayher says health concerns for the public played a major factor in drawing up the proposal.

The Southwest Georgia Regional Airport terminal is currently smoke free, but if Monday's discussion leads to a vote of approval, smokers won't be able to light up on the entire airport campus.

Curtis Green says a lot of flyers use cigarettes to calm their nerves before boarding a plane.

"Some of them have an anxiety factor and maybe having a good smoke before you get on might do them good or calm them down who know. I know I look forward to one after I get off a plane," said Curtis Green.

As he and others use tobacco as a form of therapy, non-smokers say they don't want to be a part of that session and they support a smoke free airport campus.

"I would appreciate that because you wouldn't have to smell it. You wouldn't have to breathe it and it's just healthier for non-smokers," said Rachel Robinson.

As both sides of the debate weigh-in, officials plan to meet Monday to discuss the pros and cons of taking making the airport a smoke free campus.

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