Monday, February 21, 2011

Smoking Room? No Thank You

There was a time when hotels offered more smoking rooms than non-smoking. Now, hotels are switching tones, making their properties completely smoke-free. An article posted in USA Today said that more and more hotels around the U.S. are getting rid of smoking rooms, smoking sections in restaurants, and smoking lounges. Now, the only place where visitors can smoke is outside the hotel walls, and they have to stand at least 10 feet from the door.

Most hotels voluntarily banned smoking on their premises, while others are being forced by state laws and regulations. According to the AAA, over 13,000 hotels are now smoke-free. Many people do not realize that hotels are bit behind the times with smoking restrictions--I had no idea myself. Smoking was banned on airplanes back in the 90s, and restaurants and bars started getting rid of smoking back in 1994. Hotels did not start going smoke free until 2006. The biggest reason for the change was the growing health concerns of non-smokers being exposed to smoke on a regular basis. Guests demand healthy living environments, especially if they are traveling with children.

Many hotel representatives believe the trend will continue, especially with states passing regulations on smoking in public places. So far, Michigan and Wisconsin are the only two states that require all hotels and motels to be smoke free, and Nebraska may be the next.

But many people still smoke, and they feel they deserve an area in the hotel to smoke openly, and their rooms are the ideal place. But with all the health concerns and state initiatives, it seems hotels in the U.S. will probably all go smoke free.

Personally, I'm happy about this movement. It not only gets rid of the risk of being exposed to second-hand smoke, but also removes the cigarette smell that can cling to sheets and curtains, despite cleaning the room. I think the hotel experience will be greatly improved by making properties smoke free.

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