Smoking at Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3,4 and 5

When I still used to smoke, I remember getting asked where one can smoke at Heathrow’s Terminal 2. Or was it Terminal 4 or 5? I have since developed expertise and deep insights as an airport travel consultant and in this guide, I will share with you the smoking areas at Heathrow airport.

What is a cigarette?

A cigarette is a small roll of paper that contains tobacco. The tobacco is usually wrapped in a thin layer of paper. Cigarettes are mostly smoked by men and women over the age of 18.

Cigarette smoking has been declining in developed countries, but it remains common in many developing countries. In 2018, an estimated 1.1 billion people around the world smoked cigarettes. This number is expected to increase to 1.6 billion by 2030.

Can I smoke in Heathrow?

The simple answer is no, you can’t smoke inside the airport or any of its terminals. Heathrow is a smoke-free environment and has been since 2007. On Heathrow’s website, it indicates that Heathrow is a smoke-free zone in line with British law on smoking in enclosed public spaces.

E-cigarette vs traditional cigarettes

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid to produce an aeros. The E-liquid typically contains nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, and flavorings.

As of 2019, the use of e-cigarettes is still evolving and their long-term health effects are not yet known. However, they are generally considered to be safer than traditional cigarettes.

Heathrow has banned the traditional cigarette as shown in the notice below;

It has also banned e-cigarettes:

Here is a list of all airline contacts that you can reach out to inquire.

Smoking at Heathrow Policy:

The smoking ban went into effect in England on July 1, 2007 at 6am. This includes public places and workplaces that are mostly or completely enclosed, as well as public transport and most work vehicles and company cars.

Below is a screenshot of the law passed by UK Parliament:

Snapshot showing UK legislation on smoking in public including in airports such as Heathrow
Snapshot showing UK legislation on smoking in public

Read the entire law on smoking in public places here.

places that must be smoke-free in the UK

So, no smoking at Heathrow at all?

Yes. Smoking is not permitted inside any of the Heathrow terminals but there is a caveat. Smoke-free areas includes all indoor areas, such as restaurants and cafes.

There are some designated smoking areas at Heathrow, but they’re all outside the airport terminals.

These are typically located near the entrance/exit.

Does heathrow have smoking area?

walking through Heathrow’s Terminal 5, you’ll see signs for the ‘Designated Smoking Area’. It’s located near Gate A23 on the first floor of the main concourse.

Here’s a map to help you find it:

Map of Terminal 2 smoke location
Map of Terminal 2 smoke location

The A23 Gate at Terminal 2 is close to the outside baggage as shown in the image above

Where are the smoking areas at Heathrow?

If you’re looking for a place to have a cigarette at Heathrow, your best bet is to head toward one of the following smoking areas:

Can you smoke at Terminal 1 Heathrow airport?

No, there is no designated smoking area at or near Terminal 1. It is regarded as a smoke-free terminal and you’ll need to take a light train from Terminal 1 to any smoke-allowed terminal such as T4. The journey would only take about a minute.

Can you smoke at Terminal 2 Heathrow airport?

Yes, there is a designated smoking area at Terminal 2. The smoking terrace is located on Level 2 of the main building, near Gate A1. As of October 2022, users have indicated that this smoking spot is open.

The smoking section at Terminal 2 is after security and is outside as required by UK smoking laws. One smoker said that the location has decent seating, is well-protected from the weather, and, perhaps most significantly, has outdoor heaters/ Heaters.

Smoking area at Terminal 3 Heathrow:

As of 2022, the smoking area at Heathrow Terminal 3 transit area is no longer available. It has been closed and Terminal 3 is now one of the smoke-free terminals. It used to have a smoking spot but after the change in regulation limiting the smoking areas in the airport, this particular terminal is now smoke-free.

One user asked staff whether the Terminal 3 smoke zone was open and was told it is not. So, don’t go asking. You’re out of luck.

If you are in this terminal, your best bet is to go to Terminal 2 or 4 using light rail transit.

Can you smoke at Terminal 4 Heathrow Airport?

Yes, smoking is allowed at Terminal 4 of Heathrow Airport. The designated smoking area is located past security. To get there, turn left after security and follow the corridor between Burberry and the restaurant.

As of October 2022, the smoking terrace at T4 is still open and smokers have reported that it has plenty of seating.

Smoking at Heathrow Terminal 5:

No, you can no longer finds what one user said about the change:

I used to smoke at T5 all the time but they recently closed the smoking area. You can’t even find an ashtray anywhere. I think they did this because there’s a new smoking policy at Heathrow where you can only smoke in designated areas that are outside


Why do airports not allow smoking?

Smoking inside airport terminals is not allowed because it’s a fire hazard. It’s also disruptive to other travelers and creates an unpleasant environment.

Can I vape at Heathrow airport?

Yes, if your airline permits, you may vape at Heathrow Airport. Passengers are not allowed to use electronic cigarettes within the airport boundaries, according to Heathrow’s website. If you’re planning on carrying cigarettes in your hand luggage, check with your airline first to be sure they’re allowed on board.

Can I bring my own e-cigarette to Heathrow?

Yes, you can bring your own e-cigarette to Heathrow as long as it’s for personal use. You cannot sell or distribute e-cigarettes at the airport.

You are not allowed to smoke inside the airport terminals, but there are designated smoking areas outside.

Do I have to go through security again if I leave the smoking area?

No, you do not have to go through security again if you leave the smoking area.

Can I buy cigarettes at Heathrow airport?

Yes, you can buy cigarettes at Heathrow airport. There are a few shops that sell cigarettes, including WHSmith and Boots.

Do I need my passport to buy cigarettes at Heathrow?

No, you do not need your passport to buy cigarettes at Heathrow. However, you may need to show ID if you look under 18 years old.

Do I have to pay duty on cigarettes bought at Heathrow?

No, you do not have to pay duty on cigarettes bought at Heathrow. However, you may have to pay VAT (Value Added Tax) depending on the country you’re travelling to.

I’m under 18, can I buy cigarettes at Heathrow?

No, it is illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 in the UK.

What are the smoking regulations at Heathrow?

The smoking regulations at Heathrow state that you cannot smoke inside the airport terminals. However, there are designated smoking areas outside.

Can I smoke in my hotel room at Heathrow?

No, you cannot smoke in your hotel room at Heathrow. All hotels at Heathrow are non-smoking. You can check out restaurants at Heathrow Airport here. 

You can also check out other airport smoking guides for Detroit, JFK, LAX, and Atlanta Airports.

Are there sleeping pods in Heathrow Airport?

Yes, there are several sleep pods including MetroNaps by British Airways and other airline sleep lounge sleep rooms. Read more about Heathrow Airport’s Sleeping Pods Guide.

Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.