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Promise and Progress - Fresh Air Plaza Named for Group that Fought for Clean, Smoke-Free Air

Special Commemorative Issue: The Abeloff Era - Building Upon a Tradition of Excellence

Fresh Air Plaza Named for Group that Fought for Clean, Smoke-Free Air

Date: April 1, 2007


Chronic bronchitis, emphysema and cancer—these are among the variety of diseases contracted by nonsmoking flight attendants continuously exposed to second- hand tobacco smoke in the  cabins of the airplanes where they worked. In a class-action suit that went to court in 1997, jury members heard the testimony of nonsmoking flight attendants from around the United States who now suffered smokers’ diseases. The diseases were caused from years of working in “flying ashtrays,” says Leisa Sudderth, who  began her career as a flight attendant in 1985 and is now a trustee of the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI). As part of a settlement with the American tobacco industry, the flight  attendants won $300 million to create FAMRI and fund research, early detection and treatment of diseases associated with tobacco smoke exposure.

With approximately $15 million in FAMRI grants, The Johns Hopkins University is one of the top FAMRIfunded institutions. In  recognition of the group’s continued support of cancer research at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the David H. Koch Cancer Research Building plaza was named for the Flight Attendant MedicalResearch Institute.

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