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Smoke-Free Flying

August 25, 1991

We are frequent fliers who are very pleased with the smoke-free atmosphere of domestic flights. We are writing to encourage the airlines to expand that policy to international flights.

During an international flight, often 12 or more hours long, the average person needs to use the toilet five or six times. Each time passengers in the coach section traipse to the back of the plane, they pass through the smoking section. When there are no vacant toilets, which is frequently, passengers actually queue up right next to smokers. This experience is horrendously unpleasant and as we all know, dangerous to our health. Also, let us not forget the flight attendants who spend most of their time in the galley, which is located next to the toilets in the smoking area. We are surprised that the flight attendants' union has not sued the airlines for forcing them to work in a dangerous environment.

On a recent trip from Europe, we handled the situation by refusing to use the coach toilets. When the flight attendants politely told us that the front toilets were for business-class and first-class passengers only, we politely told them of our refusal to expose ourselves to such a dangerous situation. They handled our concerns as graciously as they could; we could see that their fear was, what if everyone did this?

SUSAN RICE

and CHRISTOPHER QUINT

Long Beach

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