Flight Attendant Union Celebrates 25 Years of Smoke-Free Skies

afa-media-release-blue-new.pngToday marks the 25th anniversary of the day all domestic airline flights of six hours or less became smoke free. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) fought relentlessly to achieve this major victory for our crew and passengers as well as the standard it set for workplaces around the country.

AFA took on the tobacco industry and brought public pressure to prohibit smoking by raising two main concerns: the hazards for crew and passengers exposed to second-hand smoke, and the threat of fire from cigarettes lit in flight.

“The smoking ban is a product of our absolute commitment to health and safety in the aircraft cabin,” said AFA International President Sara Nelson. “AFA was one of the first to call out the detrimental effects of smoking on the health of our members and our passengers. We took a relentless stand on this. We promoted scientific studies, raised public awareness, and mobilized our members to demand action by Congress. We will forever be grateful for our champions in Congress on this issue: then Congressman, now Senator Dick Durbin and the late Senator Frank Lautenberg."

AFA first achieved a temporary two year ban of smoking on domestic flights of two hours or less and kept the heat on until the permanent ban took effect in 1990.

“AFA’s persistence to achieve smoke free skies is clear today; Flight Attendants helped set the standard for smoke-free work places. The smoking fight is a perfect example of the spirit Flight Attendants bring to our work as aviation's first responders. We bring absolute focus and unrelenting action to safety, health, and security,” said Nelson.

AFA fought until all flights, including charters, were smoke-free—just three years ago. Air quality remains a heated topic of discussion, and AFA will continue to fight for the highest standards for cabin air quality.

The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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