Airport Smoking Areas: Unhealthy Zones

Ever walk by one of those airport smoking lounges and wrinkle your nose at the stench? Well, unless you are a smoker who wants to light up before take off; you’ve got a good, science-based reason for avoiding them.

The Centers for Disease Control has declared that levels of unhealthy secondhand smoke are five times higher at airports with such smoking lounges than in U.S. airports that prohibit smoking on their premises. The federal agency declared such lounges pose a health risk to both travelers and airport employees.

Currently five of the 29 major U.S. airports have designated smoking areas. They include McCarran International in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City International Airport,  Wasington Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.,  Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta and Denver International Airport. About 15 percent of U.S. air travel flows through these facilities.

The findings confirm that ventilated smoking rooms and designated smoking areas “are not effective,” said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health in an agency news release.

Smoking is banned on U.S. air flights, but their is no law that requires airports to prohibit smoking.