Academy to recommend airline smoking ban By H. JOSEF HEBERT Associated Dress Writer WASHINGTON The National Academy of Sciences is calling for a ban on smoking on all domestic airline flights, concluding that cigarette smoke poses health and safet\ problems, according to government and industry sources. Details of the recommendation were not available immediately, but the sources said the panel of scientific experts will urge that smoking be prohibited on all (lights except those going overseas. The recommendation, contained in a report on overall air quality concerns in aircraft cabins by the academs's National Research Coun cil, is expected to revive a longstanding debate over whether the government should further restrict smoking aboard large jetliners. Pepper Leeper, a spokeswoman for the research council, said she could not comment on the report prior to its scheduled release Wednesday. The sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be identified by name, said the research council report will cite both health and safety reasons for ending smoking aboard large jetliners on domestic flights. Smoking already is banned on small planes of fewer thin 30 seats. The airlines have been opposed to any further smoking restrictions aboard jet aircraft. Meanwhile, Scott Stapf, a spokesman for the Tobacco Institute. said it will strongly oppose any proposal to further restrict smoking on airliners. The aircraft smoking issue has been largely dormant since the Civil Aeronautics Board voted two years ago to ban smoking on all flights of less than two hours. The board almost immediately reversed itself and the order was never put into effect. The CAB opted, instead, to prohibit smoking only on small commuter flights of 30 or fewer seats. /Airlines are required in the larger jets to provide special smoking and non-smoking sections. According to the sources, who asked not to be identified by name, the report by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences will call for a smoking ban on at least some of the large jetliners where there now is no prohibition. The Academy of Sciences study on cabin air quality was ordered by Congress. Smoking critics have said any recommendation from a panel of scientific experts that calls for further restrictions on smoking aboard commercial jetliners was sure to help revive the issue. “This would be a new catalyst.” said John Banzhaf, director of ASH, a group which has been campaigning to curb in-flight smoking for years. He acknowledged that the issue has been largely dormant since the last CAB action in mid-1984. Meanwhile, the tobacco industry was gearing up to counter the National Research Council findings. The Tobacco Institute said it was preparing to make public its own "scientific study of 65 in-flight air tests showing that the current smoking rule on commercial airliners effectively minimizes the exposure of passengers seated in no smoking sections to environment tobacco smoke.” The airlines in proceedings before the CAB two years ago strongly opposed further restrictions on in-flight smoking, arguing that the system of separating smokers from non-smokers is working to the satisfaction of both sides. “The airlines feel the current accommodations meet the desires of both smokers and nonsmokers,” Bill Jackman, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, which represents the major air carriers, said Monday. While the CAB has gone out of business, the regulatory authority on airline smoking issues has shifted to the Transportation Depirtment. The department would have to decide whether to impose any further smoking restrictions aboard aircraft. The issue also has prompted the concerns of Congress.