Airports with smoking areas have unhealthy air: study

(l i g h t p o e t /

(l i g h t p o e t /


, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

While airports offering indoor smoking areas offer sweet relief for traveling smokers, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that these airports have polluted air, even in nonsmoking areas.

The study looked at five international airports in the US that offer indoor smoking areas -- Denver, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Washington. To test air quality, the researchers placed air monitors both in the smoking rooms and in various locations around the airports for two weeks in October. They also tested four nonsmoking airports with similar passenger boarding totals: the Chicago O'Hare, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Orlando, and Phoenix airports.

The scientists discovered that pollution levels in the smoking areas of the five airports were 23 times higher than the levels in nonsmoking airports. Nonsmoking areas in the five airports were five times higher than the airports banning indoor smoking.

The study was published last week in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The scientists added that no level of secondhand smoke is deemed safe, and that in order to assure healthy air quality for workers, travelers, and especially children, airports need to consider eliminating indoor smoking.

Access the study: