Study finds smoking prevalent in many U.S. airports

Feb 04, 2011

People may be exposed to secondhand smoke in airports

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that nearly a quarter of U.S. airports allow smoking indoors. Large airports, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Denver International Airport are just a couple of facilities where travelers may be exposed to secondhand smoke.

Some airports have designated smoking areas, but CDC director Thomas Frieden says the measure isn't enough.

"Eliminating smoking at airports is the only way to fully eliminate exposure for people who pass into and through airports. This is a no-cost, high-impact strategy that will protect millions of people from secondhand smoke while traveling."

The American Cancer Society says secondhand smoke is a "known human carcinogen," and is responsible for approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths each year. Furthermore, the ACS says children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have a high risk of having asthma and other breathing problems.

Those with conditions that may stem from excessive exposure to secondhand smoke may have to pay higher life insurance premiums as a result. It's best to avoid being in areas where air quality is poor for prolonged periods of time.

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