Smoking at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)

吸烟室 - Xīyān shì

Airport Rating


Before Security Smoking

Smoking is only permitted in designated areas outside the terminals.

After Security Smoking

Update from Tianyu, Nov 2019.

  • PEK is definitely a terrible place for smokers, even lighters are prohibited after security. However Vapes are tolerated for some reason, I’ve seen lots of people Vaping in the terminal and the staff did nothing.

  • Leave your valuable lighters at home, security will take them, but you will get a lighter when you smoke outside, interestingly, smokers would put their lighters on the ashtray of smoking areas outside to pass them to those who just arrived because selling lighters is also banned there (if you can’t find any, check departure floor).

Update from Charles, Nov 2019:

  • A terrible airport for smokers, especially those in transit with a long layover. Beside the draconian Lighter Confiscation policy, there is no smoking in the International terminal, one must enter China, take tram ride to the Domestic side, where outside Gates 1, 5, 7 are smoking areas with pole trays and a bench seat. Only Gate 7 is open 24 hours. Can purchase beer at convenience store and take outside. Peking airport provides no airport maps.

  • Warning: Do Not attempt illicit smoking. Chinese airport police are omnipresent and extremely strict. President Xi's wife is in charge of Beijing Anti-Smokers Crusade. The penalties could include hard labor time and are rigidly enforced.  

  • Have seen travelers arbitrarily denied entry into China, despite holding passports from 24 hour visa free nations. Do not count on as a smoking-available Transit airport!

Warning from Milos, May 2019: 

  • Just small unpleasant update. At security check they confiscate all lighters they finds. We had just cheap plastics lighters, don't know what they would manage something more expensive like Zippo - better wouldn't try it. Hiding lighters into hand luggage seems to work fine, they found and confiscated only those from pockets. I still cant trust it happens in China where people smokes even when eating dinner :(

Do the following at your own risk, not recommended (Its now an old update):

  • Update from Danny on the 2nd March 2018: Apparently the janitors here are making a bit of an extra buck by letting people light up in the bathrooms, especially around the gates far away from the center (e.g. E36). It feels super sketchy and the rate appears to be something like 5RMB. I didn't even want to smoke here but the janitors just kinda keep hassling you, making smoking motions and asking "Smoke?" so after a couple of beers I felt so intrigued I had to go for it. I thought the guy wanted to bum a fag and light up with me but he just wanted some money.

  • Since I haven't been arrested by security so far it doesn't appear to be a trap; wouldn't really recommend, though

For connecting flights you must enter China and smoke outside terminal then go through Security again for your flight.

Further Information

Official Website