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Tampa International Airport (TPA), a bustling hub of travel and commerce in Florida, caters to a diverse range of passengers, including smokers.

While smoking is prohibited within the terminals, designated smoking areas are strategically located to accommodate smokers.

If you’re a smoker planning a trip through Tampa International Airport, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to locate, access, and utilize the designated smoking areas.

Quick Answer: Tampa International Airport has designated smoking areas located outside the terminals, accessible from both the landside and airside.

Understanding Smoking Regulations at Tampa International Airport

Smoking Ban Within Terminals

Tampa International Airport (TPA) implemented a complete indoor smoking ban in all terminals and concourses in 2018 to provide a more comfortable airport experience for all travelers.

This means smoking cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and vaping of any kind is prohibited inside any of the terminals or concourse buildings.

Designated Smoking Areas for Smokers

While smoking is banned inside the terminals, TPA does provide designated outdoor smoking areas for travelers to use. There are 4 smoking areas located on the curbsides outside of the Main Terminal and Airside buildings.

These areas provide covered seating and receptacles to properly dispose of cigarette butts.

The smoking areas are clearly marked with signage and can be found at the following locations:

Smoking is permitted outside of the terminals on levels 1 and 2. There are also designated smoking areas in the airside concourses, located at:

  • Concourse A: near gate 18
  • Concourse C: opposite gate 30
  • Concourse E: opposite gate 62
  • Concourse F: opposite gate 88

Travelers should ensure they allow enough time to use these designated smoking areas and should avoid smoking anywhere else on airport property.

Fines and Penalties for Non-Compliance

Those caught smoking outside of the designated curbside smoking areas face civil penalties and fines enforced by TPA law enforcement and code enforcement officers.

Fines start at $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for a third or any subsequent offenses.

Direct threats or harassment of an enforcement officer may also lead to arrest.

By following the clearly posted no smoking signs, using the designated smoking areas when needed, and complying with enforcement officers, travelers can avoid fines and enjoy their time at Tampa International Airport.

Locating Designated Smoking Areas on the Landside (Pre-Security)

Smoking Areas

Tampa International Airport (TPA) has several designated smoking areas located on the landside, before passing through security checkpoints.

Finding these areas is easy for smokers looking for a place to light up upon arrival or before a flight.

Smoking is permitted outside of the terminals on levels 1 and 2. There are also designated smoking areas in the airside concourses, located at:

  • Concourse A: near gate 18
  • Concourse C: opposite gate 30
  • Concourse E: opposite gate 62
  • Concourse F: opposite gate 88

Accessing Designated Smoking Areas on the Airside (Post-Security)

Smoking Areas in Concourses A, C, E, and F

Once you’ve passed through TPA security into the airside concourses, you’ll find designated smoking areas to conveniently get your nicotine fix before flights.

Concourses A, C, E and F each have an enclosed, ventilated smoking lounge post-security complete with seating and cigarette butt receptacles.

The smoking lounges in Concourses A and F are located near the midpoint of each concourse, while Concourse C’s lounge is at the end furthest from the main terminal. Concourse E’s lounge sits closer to Airside E’s security checkpoint.

Smoking Areas Near Observation Decks

In addition to the enclosed lounges, Concourses A and F offer partially covered outdoor smoking spots on their respective observation decks, which provide excellent views of tarmac operations.

These overlook the ground level arrivals area, so you can watch planes taxi and disembark passengers.

The Concourse A observation area allows smoking port side facing east, while Concourse F’s starboard side faces west. Seating is available at both locations.

Returning to Gates After Smoking

When visiting any of TPA’s post-security smoking areas, be sure to leave enough time to return to your gate for boarding. The airport recommends heading back at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled boarding time.

You’ll need to pass through security again, although it should move quickly thanks to a dedicated line for travelers who’ve already cleared screening.

And don’t worry about finding your way around—there are signs pointing back to the central hub or your concourse.

By familiarizing yourself with the various smoking area locations and allotting sufficient time to go there and return, you can avoid missing your flight. Safe travels and happy smoking!

Additional Considerations for Smokers at Tampa International Airport

Allowing Ample Time for Smoking Breaks

When catching a flight at Tampa International Airport, smokers should be sure to allow enough time for smoking breaks before security screening and at layovers.

With designated smoking areas located pre- and post-security, factoring in 10-15 minutes to walk each way, smoke, and make purchases can prevent feeling rushed.

The airport recommends arriving at least 2 hours early for domestic flights to accommodate smoking breaks. For international travel requiring extra screening, add even more buffer time.

Nothing would be worse than missing your flight because you lost track of time enjoying a cigarette!

Adhering to Signage and Designated Smoking Areas

Tampa International Airport has clear signage directing smokers to designated smoking areas both before and after passing through security.

Be sure to pay attention to signage indicating smoking area boundaries and posted restrictions.

There are two smoking lounges located in the Main Terminal on the 2nd level—the only spaces where smoking is permitted indoors.

One is located near the food court, and the other above Airside C gates. There are also several designated outdoor smoking patios adjacent to ticketing and baggage claim levels.

Being Mindful of Other Passengers and Staff

When using smoking lounges or outdoor smoking patios, be considerate of non-smoking passengers and airport staff.

Avoid smoking near doorways or open windows, cover coughs or sneezes, and properly extinguish and dispose of cigarettes to limit secondhand smoke exposure for others.

Additionally, supervise minors closely in smoking areas to prevent unaccompanied wandering, and comply promptly if asked by staff to stop smoking in non-designated areas.

Disposing of Cigarette Butts Responsibly

Cigarette butt receptacles are provided in all smoking areas for proper disposal. Be sure to completely extinguish cigarettes before tossing them out to prevent fires. Never litter butts on the ground or out of reach of ashcans.

Not properly disposing of cigarette waste means more work for airport cleaning staff.

Being mindful of only smoking in designated areas and properly throwing away cigarette butts makes a big difference in keeping Tampa International Airport clean for all visitors!


Tampa International Airport has designated smoking areas conveniently located to accommodate smokers while adhering to strict non-smoking policies within the terminals.

By understanding the regulations, locating the designated areas, and following responsible smoking practices, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience at TPA.

Remember, smoking is a privilege, not a right.

Respecting the designated smoking areas, disposing of cigarette butts properly, and being mindful of other passengers and staff contribute to a pleasant and safe environment for everyone at Tampa International Airport.

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