Smoking rooms? Most of the busiest airports in the world still have them, says CDC



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One tip for stressful travel days is to slow down and take a deep breath.

But in many of the busiest airports in the world that deep breathing can come with a dose of second-hand cigarette smoke, the Surgeon General has declared a health risk at any level of exposure.

"There is no safe level of second-hand smoke," said Cathy Callaway, Director of State and Local Campaigns for the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network.

She cites a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that concluded that ventilated rooms and designated areas for smokers at airports are ineffective in eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke.

While some airports around the world have become smoke-free, a new CDC report released on Wednesday found that as of August 2017 more than half (27) of the 50 busiest airports in the world they still allow smoking in c some areas Only 23 (46%) were smoke free.

TODAY IN HEAVEN : List: the 20 busiest airports in the world – 2016 ( the story continues below )

[19659003] "Countries, cities and individual airports all The world is making strides to protect the health of travelers and workers by making airports smoke-free, "said Brian King, an epidemiologist and deputy director of research translation at the CDC's Office of Smoking and Health. . "However, an alarming number of travelers and workers in about half of the busiest airports in the world are still at risk of exposure to secondhand smoke at these airports."

Among the 10 busiest airports in the world, the report found that half still allows smoking certain interior areas: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International, Dubai International, Hong Kong International, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Tokyo International.

Beijing Capital International, Chicago O'Hare, London Heathrow, Los Angeles International and Shanghai Pudong International, also among the 10 busiest airports are smoke-free.

Among the North American airports in the list of the 50 with the highest traffic, the CDC report found that 14 of 18 had a smoke-free policy, but that Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas McCarran's international airports International and Mexico City still allow smoking in some areas. (Washington-Dulles, a busy hub, but not among the 50 busiest airports in the world, also has a smoking area.)

Denver International, says the report, closed three of its four indoor smoking rooms in recent years and is scheduled to turn off the last one in 2018 when his lease expires. And although it is not among the 50 most active airports in the world, the report mentions that Salt Lake City International, a large airport in the USA. UU., He also recently implemented a smoke-free policy.

But while the Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world, it is smoke-free, "sadly, Las Vegas, Dulles and Atlanta have not moved to stop smoking," said Cynthia Hallett, president and executive director of Americans for Nonsmokers & Rights.

Officials at Atlanta International, the busiest airport in the world, say they are aware of calls to create a smoke-free environment at the airport, but have no plans to close their smoking areas.

"Creating a smoke-free policy would force smokers to find locations around the airport to light up and expose other guests to secondhand smoke," said ATL spokesman Andrew Gobeil, "and smokers could move outside the terminal and create an additional burden on the security lines when those pbadengers re-enter "

Leaving aside the concerns," millions of people who travel and work in airports that allow smoking are unnecessarily exposed to smoke second hand, "said the US Surgeon General. UU., Jerome Adams. "Smoke-free airports can protect people from this preventable health risk."

The full report: "Smoke-free policies at the 50 busiest airports in the world – August 2017" was published this week in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Report ]

Harriet Baskas is an airport and aviation writer based in Seattle and a columnist for "TODAY Travel" At the Airport. She occasionally contributes to Ben Mutzabaugh's Today in the Sky blog. Follow her on twitter.com/hbaskas .

Copyright 2017 USATODAY.com

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