-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of harried
travelers must still put up with unhealthy fumes from indoor
smoking at one in every four major U.S. airports, a new study
The analysis of smoke-free policies at large-hub airports in
2002 and 2010 found that smoking is permitted inside seven of the
nation's largest airports, including three of the five busiest:
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Dallas Fort Worth
International Airport and Denver International Airport.
Other major airports that allow indoor smoking include: Las
Vegas McCarran International Airport, Charlotte Douglas
International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport and
Salt Lake City International Airport.
The study was conducted by a team at the National Center for
Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, part of the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The researchers
found that 22 percent of U.S. passenger boardings -- about 151
million embarkations annually -- still take place at the airports
that permit smoking.
Instead of adopting smoke-free policies, a number of airports
have installed enclosed, ventilated smoking rooms. However,
complete elimination of exposure to secondhand smoke cannot be
achieved by separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air
and ventilating buildings, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded in
Only 100 percent smoke-free policies fully protect airport
travelers and workers from secondhand smoke, the researchers
The study is published in the Nov. 19 issue of the CDC's
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The researchers noted there is no safe level of exposure to
secondhand smoke, which causes serious health problems and death.
For example, secondhand smoke causes an estimated 46,000 heart
disease deaths and 3,400 lung cancer deaths in the United States
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more about
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