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August 30, 1971

Smoke in the Air

JAMA. 1971;217(9):1237. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190090059011

Last year "An Odor of Smoke" (JAMA212:2111-2112, 1970) denounced the possibility, proclaimed by some, that emissions from cigarette smokers in commercial aircraft endangered the lungs of nonsmoking passengers. The editorial stated in part,

The airlines rendered a great service several years ago when they abandoned the practice of handing out small packages of cigarettes to all passengers. Too often smokers who had kicked the habit were tempted to resume smoking. We believe that it would be highly desirable if there were no smoking on airlines because all smokers, in the interest of their health, should stop smoking completely. We do not hold that cigarette addicts should be prohibited from smoking while in flight. For them the ordeal would be as great as that suffered by the protesters who are offended by the odor of the smoke. G. B. Shaw once wrote, "Smokers and non-smokers cannot be equally free