Secondhand smoke at five major airports puts flyers at risk: CDC

ATLANTA Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:47am IST

Related Topics

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Thanksgiving travelers who pass through the five major U.S. airports that still allow indoor smoking in designated public rooms face a hidden health hazard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.

A study by the federal health agency found that secondhand smoke levels directly outside public smoking areas were five times higher than the levels in smoke-free airports.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Washington Dulles International, McCarran International in Las Vegas, Denver International and Salt Lake City International are the only five of the nation's 29 largest airports that still have indoor smoking areas accessible to the general public, the CDC said.

The five account for 15 percent of all U.S. air travel, the agency said.

"The findings in today's report further confirm that ventilated smoking rooms and designated smoking areas are not effective," said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health. "Prohibiting smoking in all indoor areas is the only effective way to fully eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke."

Secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in non-smoking adults, and even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause a heart attack, the CDC said.

The CDC tests, conducted between October 19 and November 1, measured markers for secondhand smoke. Pollution levels found slightly more than 3 feet (1 meter) outside the smoking rooms were five times higher than in four major smoke-free airports used for comparison, the CDC said.

"Airport smoking areas and the areas around them are not healthy - for workers or travelers, particularly children," Brian King, a CDC epidemiologist and co-author of the report, said in a statement.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Cynthia Johnston)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Read 

Jihadi John

Jihadi John

British PM Cameron vows to hunt down 'Jihadi John'.  Full Article 

Economic Survey

Economic Survey

India in "sweet spot" of lower deficits, more growth - Economic Survey.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is rooted in reality, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Read | Ab Tak Chhappan 

Nimoy Dies

Nimoy Dies

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's 'Mr. Spock,' dies at 83.  Full Article 

Gown Returned

Gown Returned

Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscar gown returned by thief via TMZ.  Full Article 

NZ vs Australia

NZ vs Australia

Boult destroys powerful Australia batting lineup.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage