American Lung Association Lauds Philadelphia Airport's Smoke-Free Policy

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 22, 2005--The American Lung Association presented the Trudeau Mission Impact Award to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to recognize the health benefits of the Airport's smoking ban, which was enacted on May 1, 2004. The award was presented at the Association's Board and Staff Luncheon in Harrisburg on November 18, 2005.

"This award signifies the Airport's commitment to our mission of preventing lung disease and promoting lung health," said Thomas A. Bream, president of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic. "We only give it to our most dedicated supporters."

Before implementation of the Airport's smoke-free policy, passengers and employees could smoke at a limited number of bars and restaurants. Since the ban went into effect, smoking is no longer permitted anywhere within the Airport's 2.4 million square-foot terminal facility. Despite a predicted drop in business, the bars and restaurants were generally unaffected by the new policy.

"I have long encouraged Philadelphians to improve their health and physical fitness," said Mayor John F. Street. "The Airport's smoke-free initiative directly supports that goal."

Shortly after the smoking ban was enacted, new, low-fare airline entrants and a 15.6% drop in average airfares led to record numbers of passengers being served. As a result, the impact of the Airport's actions to eliminate secondhand smoke was magnified.

"With more than thirty-one million passengers flying through PHL annually, and a workforce of nearly thirty-four thousand, this change significantly improves our air quality and protects the lives of countless people," said Aviation Director Charles J. Isdell.

According to Isdell, there were a number of key players who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to implement the smoke-free policy.

"The Airport Advisory Board, lead by Dr. Stuart Shapiro and the late Dr. Ronald Pennock, advocated effectively for change. Great credit must also be given to Jack McCourt, the Airport's Occupational Safety Administrator, and his team for spearheading the campaign," said Isdell.

The Philadelphia Airport System is owned and operated by the City of Philadelphia and is composed of Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport. The Airport System is a self-sustaining entity that operates without the use of local tax dollars. It is one of the largest economic engines in Pennsylvania, generating an estimated $14 billion in spending to the regional economy and employing a workforce of nearly 34,000.

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