CHICAGO, Feb. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, members of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) join Senator Durbin (D-IL) at a press conference at O'Hare to celebrate 25 years of the in-flight smoking ban and the epic battle waged to achieve smoke-free skies.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Moe Kerrigan shared her story this morning, reminding us all why high standards for air quality are so critical for Flight Attendants. AFA has been working to improve the cabin environment for the last three decades. In 1986, AFA pushed for the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the effects of in-flight smoking on Flight Attendants' health.
"The study confirmed our concerns, and today, I am more susceptible to bronchitis, pneumonia – and I have always feared that I would die of lung cancer," said Kerrigan. "It seems absurd today, but the epic battle to get smoking off of our planes was incredibly difficult. Senator Durbin, at the time a Congressman, was something like a superhero to us when he decided to take on this fight and refused to let up until we were smoke-free."
"Our union, the Association of Flight Attendants, has led efforts for improved aviation safety and health regulations and we've had a lot of success – but nothing compares to the change we all experienced with the ban of smoking on our flights," Kerrigan explained as she described the massive relief that came with the smoking ban.
Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of the smoking ban on almost all US flights. Twenty-five years ago, AFA along with Senator Durbin and the late Senator Lautenberg saw their work start to pay off, but this coalition continued to push the envelope guaranteeing smoke-free skies for both the crews' work space and passengers' travel space around the world.
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.