General Airport Smoking Strategy
- One internal tobacco industry document details
the industry's "Airport Strategy Plan". (Note: the first page of this
document is blank) As part of this plan, the tobacco industry met with
staff from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and helped
the Association draft "An Airport Executive's Guide to Smoking Policies in
Public Airports". The industry also targeted 43 airports for the provision
of ventilation experts to convince the airports' executives that proper ventilation
is better than smoking restrictions or bans.
- This internal tobacco industry document described efforts by Congressman
Durbin to enact smokefree airports legislation, and discussed
strategies that could be used to keep smoking in airports intact.
- One internal document briefly noted that HBI [Healthy Buildings International]
had met with the Salt Lake City Airport's architect regarding smoking lounges.
The memo made recommendations for follow-up actions at Salt Lake City and
five other airports. The memo also
included a list of 34 airports "that have received FAA permission
to levy a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) and the name of the project to which
the tax must be applied. Most of the projects seem compatible with possible
smoking accommodation options." In other words, nonsmoking passengers
might end up paying for smoking lounges!
- This May 17, 1993 document describes a
meeting with Philip Morris' airline consultant regarding accommodation
- An internal Philip Morris email described concerns over clean indoor air
legislation in California and recommends trying to add a "Model
Program for Smoking Lounges" in airports to the bill.
- An internal Philip Morris document titled "Presentation to B&H,"
and dated June 9, 1994 (Bates Nos. 2045947330-7341), contains a
page that outlines the number of PM brand cigarettes smoked in airport
layovers and also the expected PM sales increase due to accommodating smokers
- A 1993 internal Philip Morris (PM) email described the amount spent on airline
travel through BA [British Airways?] for 1992 and the first six months of
1993. The memo noted that "PM just signed contract with United Airlines
for discounting based on volume and requires all company travel on UA where
possible. This will reduce the impact of our BA spend. I've asked from henceforth
that our reasons for switch be made ambiguous in the hopes that we can suggest
to BA that its smoking policy was reason. But the fact is the contract pre-dates
BA's announcement by a few weeks." The memo detailed
other steps to be taken to convince BA to rescind its policy.
- An undated Philip Morris email recommended a plan for a "grassroots" campaign orchestrated by Philip Morris (PM) against a nonsmoking policy instituted by BA [British Airways?]. The memo stated that, "PM (and all our allies) should include with all PM-issued tickets an instruction page and blank sheet of paper. Employees taking BA should be requested to complain about the lack of smoking seats. Employees on competing airlines which still permit smoking should write to commend their willingness to accommodate. This should be coordinated with the travel entity that issues tickets. In the process of running the numbers on our BA spending, it appears we fly in the vicinity of 1,000 people on BA alone in a given year. If PM and our allies all do this, we could create the impression that passengers - and they are what count - are in fact not pleased with the ban. This will go head on with the ban."
Denver International Airport (DIA)
- According to internal Philip Morris documents, the DIA smoking lounges story
begins in late 1990, when tobacco
industry representatives met with then-Mayor Federico Peña's staff
about smoking issues at Stapleton Airport, Denver's old airport. The industry
was pushing for "accommodation of smokers" and fighting the city's
proposal to ban smoking at the airport.
- A 1991
Philip Morris memo lauded a United Smokers Association press release attacking
the proposed airport smoking ban, noting "the group sends a strong message
to Mayor Peña, the city council and the folks at Stapleton that smoking
bans only cause problems, and separate sections/accommodation works."
- Fast forward three years, to late 1993. Internal Philip Morris documents
that the company contracted with David Mosteller, Vice President of PLF
Airport Executive (and owner of two restaurants adjacent to the smoking lounges)
to install HVAC ventilation systems in the lounges and to decorate them using
a "Benson & Hedges theme."
- An August 1993 letter from David Mosteller to Pam Oldham Inmann of Philip
Morris, describes PLF Airport, Incorporated, and outlines
plans for the smoking lounges that they are planning to build.
- In February 1994, this
memo from Cappie Alverson stated that: "the deal at Denver is not
done or public. We are doing an advertising deal with a restaurant there.
We get advertising in exchange for paying for the ventilation system for two
lounges. All press reports have given the restaurant (pour la France - plf)
complete credit. That is just the way we like it."
- In March 1994, Benson
& Hedges sent PLF $77,000 as initial payment for the HVAC systems.
- An internal Philip Morris memo spells
out the company's plans for Denver International, Atlanta and Detroit airports,
including the company's desire to keep its involvement with Denver's smoking
lounges out of the public eye.
- One Philip Morris executive excitedly reported
in an internal memo "remember we have a consultant that says he can
get us into LAX and O'Hare if this is successful." Fortunately, Philip
Morris was wrong about LAX, which is still smokefree!
Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Wayne County (DTW)
- While Philip Morris was working to get smoking lounges at the new Denver
International Airport, it was also meeting
with the concessionaires at Detroit's airport to evaluate sites for smoking
lounges. One Philip Morris employee even discussed the possibility of reversing
Wayne County's ordinance requiring that smoking areas be fully enclosed.
- An internal Philip Morris memo spells out the company's plans for Denver International, Atlanta and Detroit airports, including the company's desire to keep its involvement with Denver's smoking lounges out of the public eye.
Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport
- And, the company was keeping track of events in Atlanta, where the City
Council's Transportation Committee unanimously adopted a smoking ordinance
for the airport which
included two smoking areas per concourse and gave Marlboro exclusive signage
rights. The memo notes, "Pending final vote and getting a copy of the
ordinance, I would suggest we continue to proceed on the discussion of working
out a national strategy to accommodate at the other, targeted airports as
- Another memo outlined Options
for Airports: Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport.
- A report by Healthy Buildings International Inc. regarding
proposed smoking areas.
- This May
1993 memo by Ted Lattanzio stated: "Should the Council adopt the
proposal, we will have ensured that Atlanta accommodates smokers and that
the Marlboro name gets exclusive rights to advertise in the designated areas."
- In February 1994, this
memo from Cappie Alverson stated that: "Atlanta is in the midst of
contract negotiations. They have not started construction nor prepared signs
for advertising. It is public that we are helping the city fund the lounges.
The company line is that we are doing no more airport deals until we see how
these two work."
Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport (DFW)
- A 1993
Philip Morris memo describes the position of the Airport Board on smoking
lounges, and actions taken by the Tobacco Institute and Philip Morris to convince
the Board to build the lounges.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- A May 5, 1990 internal Philip Morris email described a visit with Richard L. Rowe, general manager of JFK, regarding his desire to maintain smoking sections in the airport. The author of the memo believes that "we may have an opportunity to get involved in expediting the process."
Salt Lake City Airport
- This June
16, 1993 report from Gray Robertson of Healthy Buildings International
describes a meeting with the Salt Lake City Airport Authority.
Philadelphia International Airport
- An accommodation
case study regarding the Olde Philadelphia Tavern.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- A case study of a "compromise" that preserved smoking at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
- Philip Morris expended some effort in planning how smoking lounges should
be designed and constructed. The company spoke with the Japan Air Curtain
Company regarding a ventilation system called an "air curtain,"
which would be used in lieu of actually enclosing the smoking lounges. A
1989 internal memo described the psychological considerations in designing
a smoking lounge to be attractive to smokers. The memo noted that an enclosed
lounge "comes too close to perceptions of being in a cage, a place where
the 'smoker-as-pariah' must be relegated," and stated that, "The
air curtain lounge would avoid the 'cage' effect because it is an open area...".
- A 1990 Philip Morris internal memo recommended a test of both an enclosed smoking lounge, and one which utilized "air curtain" ventilation technology. The memo noted that some airport managers might be concerned about public reception of "air curtain" lounges, but that "The fact is, nobody knows what smokers and non-smokers - the most important persons in this whole debate - feel about open vs. closed compartments." The author believes testing both systems will provide valuable feedback, and, at the least "We could certainly generate some favorable public relations if only by demonstrating PM's receptivity to people's concern about the ETS issue...".