Time Flies When You're Not Smoking | American Lung Association

Time Flies When You're Not Smoking

Celebrating 25 Years of Smokefree Skies

(February 23, 2015)

Flying the friendly skies became friendlier to lungs 25 years ago, thanks to groundbreaking legislation that made domestic flights smokefree.The historic measure provided protection for airline passengers and flight attendants from secondhand smoke, and paved the way for further smokefree initiatives to protect Americans where they live, work and gather.

Tip Card Graphic

We're taking a look back at this important step for lung health and celebrating everyone who made smokefree skies a reality, including those who took their first flights without smoking.

Check out these throwback tips to the early days of nonsmoking airplane flights. As hard as it is to believe now, 25 years ago, people were so used to being able to smoke wherever they wanted that we needed to give them advice on making it through the flight without lighting up!


  1. Relaxercise. Think about something that makes you feel good. Relax your shoulders. Inhale as slowly and as deeply as you can. Hold your breath while you count to four, and exhale slowly letting out all the air from your lungs. Slowly repeat these steps five times.
  2. Fingertips. Keep your hands busy. Make a list of reasons for quitting smoking. Doodle. Do airline magazine crossword puzzles. Get up and stretch as often as possible.
  3. Liquid assets. If you usually smoke while drinking coffee, soft drinks or alcohol during flights, try switching to fruit juices, water or milk.
  4. Sweet dreams ... As a last resort, lean back and sleep.
  5. Reward yourself. Take yourself out to eat at a nice restaurant at the end of the flight, watch a good movie or buy something special for yourself. Just don't smoke!
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