More hotels go completely smoke-free..

February 17, 2011 - Hotels, motels and other lodgings are following the trend of airlines and passenger-train operators by banning smoking throughout their premises. Some are doing it voluntarily, as public awareness about the health dangers of secondhand smoke grows. Others are being forced by a growing number of state and local laws.

Dollar and Thrifty rental car fleets - NO Smoking Allowed..

More than 12,900 lodgings serving the public in the USA are now smoke-free throughout, a USA TODAY analysis of data from AAA, the American Automobile Association, finds. That's nearly 4,600 more than in November 2008, when USA TODAY first analyzed AAA data.

Though the number of smoke-free hotels is growing, the percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes has not declined since 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. About one of every five adults — 46.6 million — smokes cigarettes.

Four of every 10 non-smokers — 88 million people — were exposed to cigarette smoke during 2007-2008, the CDC says. Among other health problems, smoking causes cancer, heart attacks and stroke, and exposure to secondhand smoke causes cancer and heart disease in non-smoking adults and respiratory infections and more severe asthma in children, the agency says.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that the Ritz-Carlton St. Louis hotel in Clayton will pay a $300 fine, plus $27 in court costs, as punishment for violating the city's smoking ban. The 300-room hotel also agreed to comply with the city's ordinance going forward.

The MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas should immediately rescind the new $20 per day fee it is charging customers to "guarantee" a non-smoking room.

Some smokers readily agree something stinks about having a room that's been smoked in. Doug Gillikin of Lafayette, La., who works in the millwork industry and stayed at hotels more than 150 nights last year, says he smokes outside hotels and prefers they be smoke-free. He chooses non-smoking rooms over smoking ones in hotels that offer a choice. Why? "The smell is terrible," Gillikin says.

Reference: More hotels go completely smoke-free by Gary Stoller, USA TODAY, 2/18/2011.

A few related news briefs:
Wisconsin - July 2010 smoking ban included banning smoking in every hotel guestroom..;
Los Angeles City - smoking to be banned just about everywhere..;
Michigan - governor signs state smoking ban..;
Hefty Fines - Hotels are serious about rooms being smoke free..;
Extended Stay Hotels, which operates 682 North American properties, recently announced that it plans to continue to welcome smokers, according to a r;

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