Smoking rules on airlines being reconsidered by US

The Civil Aeronautics Board is taking another look at one of its most controversial areas of concern -- the rights of smokers and nonsmokers aboard commercial aircraft.

After a day of oral arguments, the board will vote today (May 14) on options ranging from a total ban on smoking to elimination of existing regulatiosn, which would allow consumer demand to settle the issue.

The airline industry generally favors the deregulated approach. Health and antismoking groups, however, have pressed for more stringent controls beyond current regulations, which essentially guarantee every passenger the right to a nonsmoking seat.

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