CDC Study Pinpoints Airport Smoking Areas' Pollution Levels

People passing by, cleaning, or working near designated smoking areas in five large U.S. airports are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to the study.

Just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday airport rush, CDC posted the news of a study it conducted about designated smoking areas in major U.S. airports, comparing the air pollution levels inside and immediately outside them to smoke-free major airports. CDC’s summary said five of the 29 largest U.S. airports allow smoking in designated areas – and they include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest U.S. airport in 2011 with 44 million emplanements, according to FAA.

Average air pollution levels from secondhand smoke immediately outside designated smoking areas in the five airports were five times higher than levels in smoke-free airports, according to the study. (Inside the smoking areas, the pollution levels inside were 23 times higher than levels in smoke-free airports.) The study said designated smoking areas in airports include restaurants, bars, and ventilated smoking rooms.

Besides the main Atlanta airport, the big ones with designated areas are Washington Dulles International Airport, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Denver International Airport, and Salt Lake City International Airport. More than 110 million passengers boarded flights in those airports last year, representing about 15 percent of all U.S. air travel, according to CDC.

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

"Instead of going entirely smoke-free, five airports continue to allow smoking in restaurants, bars, or ventilated smoking rooms. However, research shows that separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot fully eliminate secondhand smoke exposure," said Brian King, Ph.D., an epidemiologist with the office and co-author of the report. "People who spend time in, pass by, clean, or work near these rooms are at risk of exposure to secondhand smoke."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue