Patricia Young

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Patricia Young started fighting for smoke-free workplaces in 1966

Patricia Young is a former American Airlines flight attendant & was very early advocate for smoke-free workplaces, focusing on airline cabins. Patricia Young began pushing for smoke-free workplaces in 1966.


Patty Young started working for American Airlines in the 1960 as a "stewardess," as they were called then. She introduced Norma Broin, a non-smoking, Mormon flight attendant suffering from lung cancer, to Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt, the attorneys who led the Broin class action against the industry on behalf of as many as 60,000 nonsmoking flight attendants.

A 6 page tobacco industry document contains the 1994 testimony of American Airlines flight attendant Patricia Young, in which she urged Congress to ban smoking on all international flights. Ms. Young stated that when she was forced to work on smoking flights, "at times my tears and mucus were the color or coffee or tea." Some of the effects of her chronic exposure to tobacco smoke at work, according to her testimony, included chronic bronchitis, asthma, chronic laryngitis, chronic sinus disease and severe debilitating headaches with vomiting and diarrhea. Ms. Young stated that that "When asked by company employees...when smoking would be eliminated on all flights [Mr. Robert Crandall, Chairman and President of AMR Corporation, parent company of American Airlines] would smile, light up a cigarette, blow out the smoke and say: 'Does that answer your question?'"[1]

Ms. Young was a plaintiff in a 1991 lawsuit against the major American tobacco companies for injuries caused to flight attendants from working in enclosed cabins with secondhand smoke.[2]


  1. Young P, American Airlines, Inc. Patricia Young American Airlines Flight Attendant Testimony. May 18, 1994. Bates No. TICT0011034/1039
  2. Milt Freudenheim, New York Times Flight attendants sue over passengers' smoking Newspaper article. November 1, 1991. Philip Morris Bates No. 2021256432

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