St. Louis mayor wants airport smoke-free

ST. LOUIS | St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay wants to ban smoking at Lambert Airport — including smoking lounges. But the outgoing airport director says that would drive smokers outside and increase security concerns.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that Slay wants Lambert smoke-free on Jan. 2, 2011. Both a St. Louis city and St. Louis County smoking ban goes into effect that day. The airport sits in the county but is owned by the city.

Nine smoking lounges operate at Lambert. Smoking is banned elsewhere at the airport.

Airport director Richard Hrabko has argued for keeping the lounges because he doesn't want smokers going back and forth between secure areas and outside.

Hrabko is retiring, and Slay says he will work with the new director to address those concerns.