ANR UPDATE, 29(1), Spring 2010

Smoke-Filled Airport Lounges Stink!

In 2010, we celebrate 20 years of Smokefree Skies, an achievement brought about by the hard work of ANR and its members, flight attendants, and other national partners. Yet in 2010, many airports still allow smoking in special lounges or even on the concourse - leaving nonsmokers and workers exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS). Here are a few examples:

The St. Louis airport still has smoking rooms and claims that added "air curtains" keep the toxic SHS from escaping. Clearly, airport officials have not read the latest reports on the ineffectiveness of ventilation or the leakage problems associated with smoking rooms. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air conditioning Engineers, the international ventilation standards setting body, has determined that ventilation cannot protect individuals from SHS exposure.

The Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport allows smoking in the concourse. Nonsmokers who want to avoid the smoke are supposed to go to a strange little room called the "nonsmoking dining room," which has no door. People should not have to breathe toxic air in a government owned public facility.

The major international hub of Frankfurt am Main Airport in Germany features "Camel Smoking Zones," (below) which are small, glass-walled cubicles, throughout the main terminal. Unfortunately, the smoking cubicles are also one of the few locations for travelers to re-charge electronic devices such as cell phones.

YOU can help! If you travel through a smoke-filled airport, or won't go through a hub because it is smoke-filled, then write to the airport authority or submit a "comment card" often found in airports. Demand that the airport be made entirely smokefree. Visit our website at for more information about the smokefree status of the busiest airports, or call us for help.

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