Hefty Fines - Hotels are serious about rooms being smoke free ..

February 21, 2008 - Hefty Fines - Hotels are serious about rooms being smoke free .. More guests ask for hotel rooms that are free of smoking residue and getting more sensitive about smelling any hint of cigarette smoke in non-smoking rooms. Fines can range from $175 to $500 if the smell of tobacco smokes is detected and/or cigarette butts are found in your trash. The American Hotel & Lodging Association found that 74% of hotel rooms in the U.S. were nonsmoking in 2006 up from 65% in 2001. Several large hotel chains including Marriott International Inc.'s Marriott and Starwood's Westin are 100% nonsmoking in North America. Last week, Sheraton, divisions of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., announced all of its North American properties will have a $200 smoking charge when the brands become 100% nonsmoking at the end of 2008. Walt Disney Co.'s Walt Disney World Resort hotels started applying a new smoking charge of as much as $500 in June 2007, when the brand became totally nonsmoking. Some hotels seek out actual physical evidence like photos of ashes or cigarette butts before they levy the fine. The Swissotel Chicago awards housekeepers a $10 bonus for every smoker they catch. ( "Now at Hotels: The $250 Cigarette" by Sarah Nassauer, Wall Street Journal - Personal Journal, 2/21/2008) Click on image to enlarge..