ISSN : 2266-6060

Smoking/No smoking

Zurich Airport, April 2022

Cigarettes are no longer popular in the West. Shared spaces have gradually become forbidden to them, pushing smokers and their foul-smelling and toxic odors further and further away. But what can be done in places that are closed for maximum security? In all the major airports in the world, there are “smoking lounges”, most often inconspicuous and isolated. Here, in the heart of liberal Switzerland, this is not the case: as home to the headquarters of the world’s leading cigarette manufacturers, tobacco product advertisements are everywhere in public spaces.
In the middle of the airport, you can see lounges like this one, with the colors and fonts of the most famous cigarette brands. Certainly forbidden to minors as the sticker “18+” shows, but everyone can see these 22 lounges as gigantic advertising spaces. While other countries restrict public visibility to the point of forcing sales in “neutral packages” covered with public health slogans, the friendly camel or the white eagle are at home here, even though you can’t buy a cigarette there.
Rooms put in depression to keep the smoke, with a sober design and indispensable screens announcing flight departures, they are a haven of peace for smokers, a territorialization of tobacco capitalism. However, no one controls the brand of cigarettes that are smoked there, since these enclosures can in no way be workplaces.

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