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How to convince hotels that non-smoking rooms are not "optional"?

How to convince hotels that non-smoking rooms are not "optional"?

Old Jun 21st, 2002, 07:23 AM
  #1  
Mark
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How to convince hotels that non-smoking rooms are not "optional"?

Recently, several threads have discussed the distress of being forced into a smoking room at a hotel, despite having specified the need for a non-smoking room.

The upshot of all these posts is that the hotels are under no obligation to provide a non-smoking room, no matter what they tell you when you book. They are required by law to have an "accessible" room with wider doors and safety bars in the bathroom, but how many more people are there for whom the remnants of tobacco smoke is a serious problem?

Maybe it's time to make this a public issue, whether by trying to increase public awareness and pressure on the hotel industry or by trying (much harder) to get some official regulation.

Where would you suggest we start? Of course anyone can write a letter to the top management of the major chains, but individual letters go into the "Guest Relations" hopper to kick out a boiler-plate response -- "thank you for your comments," etc. Dead-end.

So, what is the trade group for the hotel industry? Is there an advocacy group for guests at hotels?

 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 07:28 AM
  #2  
gc
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Use this site to promote a site where frequent, non-smoking travellers with prestige affinity status can join together and petition the hotel chains and take other definitive actions, such as loudly demanding a non-smoking room in the lobby.

If there is enough market demand, they will listen.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 07:42 AM
  #3  
Suzy
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Comfort Inn has several hotels in Manhattan and has designated one of them entirely nonsmoking -- the Comfort Inn Midtown. I read about this online somewhere and when I called to make reservations, I double-checked with the person who answered the phone AND the reservations guy -- yes, the whole place is nonsmoking AND comes with a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee (of course you have to give them a chance to fix the problem, the criteria are spelled out quite reasonably on their site). When I mentioned to the reservations guy that I thought the idea of a hotel that's entirely nonsmoking was a great idea, he said that he hears that a lot (surprise, surprise).

I posted here twice asking if anyone knew of any other nonsmoking hotels in Manhattan and got no others.

Without this particular hotel, I would have just
bid on Priceline and taken my chances.
There are plenty of cities that have banned smoking from all restaurants, and somehow the restaurants stay in business. I expect that it would be possible to get the ball rolling on getting more chains to designate specific hotels as entirely nonsmoking, especially in cities where they have several. That's a letter-writing campaign that has a chance to have a real effect, IMHO.

Another possibility is to build on the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires the accessible rooms. The ADA applies to all sorts of disabilities, not just mobility impairments. Are there organizations of people with serious respiratory problems that could tackle making nonsmoking rooms an ADA access point?
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 07:47 AM
  #4  
Doc
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Try the American Lung Association.

I don't think it's necessarily a great idea to turn people with allergies to smoke into "disabled" people. For one thing, they could be told that on any particular occasion, The Accessible Room was already booked and too bad, no other room.

But the Am. Lung Assoc. is also a health-advocacy group with high profile and a lot of clout.

As Mark suggests, the issue isn't whether there _are_ no-smoking areas; it's whether you are guaranteed to get a non-smoking room if you specify that in your reservation. Hooray for Comfort Inn -- is that Marriott? Is that a possible policy for the whole chain or just that one hotel?
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 07:48 AM
  #5  
Doc
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Sorry, just re-read the post. What I meant is whether the "satisfaction guaranteed" policy applies.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 08:00 AM
  #6  
Suzy
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Comfort Inn is part of the Choice Hotels chain and the guarantee applies to all Comfort Inns and Comfort Suites hotels.

http://www3.choicehotels.com/ires/en-US/html/Guarantee?chain=C&sid=aC5o.2C7OXFv0Y.3

Comfort Inns also offer free newspaper and continental breakfast, kids under 18 stay free, and claim that 60% of all their rooms are nonsmoking. This last figure sounds nice, until you realize that far less than 60 percent of the population smokes. When you make a reservation online, the descriptoin of the rooms and rates specifies "nonsmoking," so perhaps this is a guarantee of a nonsmoking room -- I'd call and ask.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 09:17 AM
  #7  
cb
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Just for the record, there is no such thing as allergy to smoke.

It is all in your head.

If you don't believe me, check this quote from the American Review of Respiratory Disease, the journal of the American Lung Association:

"...antigenically cross-reactive material was found in a number of vegetables, including tomatoes and peppers. Skin test reactivity to tobacco smoke or leaf extract does not appear to be correlated with smoking status, so IgE produced in response to other plant antigens may be cross-reacting with tobacco proteins. There is no firm evidence that allergy to tobacco smoke occurs... "

You may dislike it, fine. You are not allergic to it. It is a matter of preference, not a health issue.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 09:40 AM
  #8  
Suzy
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Whether or not this reaction is a true "allergy" (in the technical sense rather than in the more casual common use of the word), smoke can definitely cause asthmatic symptoms, which aren't always allergies, they can also be caused by stress, medications, exercise, and several itrritants, notably smoke from tobacco or from wood stoves. Each asthma case is unique in both the causes and symptoms of attacks, some can be life-threatening, others can be mild and just annoying.

Here's a comment from the National Institutes of Health on asthma:

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/airborne/prevent/intro.html

And a list of recognized asthma triggers:

http://www.ohsuhealth.com/allergy/astrigs.asp

 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 09:45 AM
  #9  
bc
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cb, I'm a confirmed non-smoker, but I've been suspcious of the claims to smoke allergies as well. Sounds like a convenient but whiney overstatement. I'll get a headache, sometimes get stuffy as well in a smokey room, but in no way do I feel these are allergic symptoms. Asthma is different, but often a crutch as well for someone who just plain doesn't want to be around smoke. And not wanting to be around it, detesting it, is fine, but let's stick with the facts, Ma'am, just the facts.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 10:03 AM
  #10  
Richard
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And in the case of a smoking room (as opposed to a non-smoking room), it's not like the room will be filled with second hand smoke; rather it may just have the odor of smoke on the furnishings.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 10:39 AM
  #11  
x
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And why is it that the US is the only country in the world where people NEED a non-smoking room?
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 10:48 AM
  #12  
yyy
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Tried and True I or a guest have asthma
xxx because we have the brains to care.

DALINK!!!
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 10:54 AM
  #13  
x
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More like you have been brainwashed to care...
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 11:53 AM
  #14  
bc
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yyy, What you just said is that asthma is psychosomatic. That has been tried and it is true in x% of the cases, by the way, so correctomundo!
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 12:00 PM
  #15  
yyy
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bc meant to say that is the excuse I use when I want a clean room (non-smoking room).

Apart from rooms I bar smoking men from my life also. Yuck to go out with a guy that smokes is like going out with a guy that cleans his ears with his car keys. I think smoking is a filthy habit, plain and simple.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 12:01 PM
  #16  
yyy
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Not to mention a habit that exposes nervousness, self-esteem and addiction problems.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 12:14 PM
  #17  
xx
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I wouldn't date a man who smokes, just as I wouldn't date a man who constantly spits or farts. Yuck!
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 12:17 PM
  #18  
yyy
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xx too funny. What a pair of ladies we are?
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 01:03 PM
  #19  
Irene
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I don't smoke and never have. We always request a non-smoking room when they're offered BUT I've also traveled around the world and stayed in many many hotel rooms where more than likely a smoker may have also stayed. I've lived 68 years to tell you about it...I'm beginning to think many Americans sound like lunatics. Stop all this whining! For God sake, if you should accidently get stuck with a smoking room, whether here in the USA or in a foreign country....trust me, you'll survive. Grow up!
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 01:33 PM
  #20  
x
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i think on the whole, older people don't mind smoking or smoke residue in rooms because they grew up with it. smoking in restaurants, at movie theatres, at work, etc was the way of the world back then. the younger generation of non-smokers are the ones who are more smoke conscious. i don't think they're lunatics, they've just never had to put up with the smell and the pollution of being in close quarters with smokers and smoke residue. therefore, they're less willing to put up with it when they encounter it.

as for the allergy to smoke, if you experience an adverse physical reaction to a substance, then you're allergic. i don't see how anyone could put up with headaches, stuffiness, asthma, or other discomforts and still not be put out about the cause of the problem, namely a smoking room; especially if you're paying a lot of money for the room.
 

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