All-Smoking Hotel: A Good Idea?
W hile dining out with two good friends of mine earlier tonight — both of whom I had met through FlyerTalk years ago — one of them came up with the idea of opening an all-smoking hotel property where all of the rooms.
The reason why he came up with this idea is that when reconfirming his reservation, he was informed that the hotel property at which he originally booked a room where smoking is permitted had no smoking rooms after all, as smoking is not permitted anywhere in the building. As a cigarette smoker, he had no choice but to cancel his reservation and book a room at another hotel property which had rooms available where guests are permitted to smoke.
He claims that although the bed is reasonably comfortable, the room is a “slum.”
According to this fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18.1 percent of all adults in the United States aged 18 years or older in 2012 were current cigarette smokers. That is approximately 42.1 million people where 20.1 percent were male; and 14.5 percent were female — despite tobacco use being the leading preventable cause of death:
- Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than five million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than eight million deaths annually by 2030.
- Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.
- On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
- If smoking persists at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are projected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today.
Tobacco use leads to disease and disability:
- Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases — including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction — and diabetes.
- For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, about 30 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking.
- More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking.
Both my mother and father — lifelong smokers of cigarettes — died from lung cancer within a few months of each other; and I was at their bedsides as I watched them pass away before my eyes. I had not even finished grieving for my mother when my father died. What an awful year that was for me — but I digress.
The good news is that the percentage of people in the United States who smoked cigarettes was as high as 42 percent in 1965, according to this article from the American Cancer Society — meaning that the percentage dropped by approximately 23.9 percent. This also means that the market for smokers has decreased significantly, causing — amongst other things — more and more hotel properties converting to smoke-free facilities…
…but perhaps the decrease was due to government regulations: do you remember when smoking was permitted in the rear rows of seats aboard an airplane? I know of smokers — my friend included — who do not like that they cannot light a cigarette aboard an airplane and smoke. Some get the jitters and are anxious and nervous. Others tough it out. Still others — well — fumed. I personally am thrilled that smoking is not permitted aboard airplanes. When I was younger, I was unfortunate enough to be assigned a seat in the last row of the non-smoking section of an airplane — right in front of the first row in the smoking section. Forget about obese people, armrests, religious preferences and babies: imagine the war which might occur today between smokers and non-smokers if smoking was still permitted aboard commercial airplanes.
Anyway — after doing some cursory research — there actually is such a thing as an all-smoking hotel property. Hotel MyStays Asakusa in Tokyo and Hotel Nomad in Semey in Kazakhstan are supposedly two such hotel properties…
…but if I were to open an all-smoking hotel property, it would be called Butt Inn. Its restaurant would serve smoked meats and smoky barbecue ribs; and it would offer puff pastry for dessert. Any guest who does not smoke in a room will be subject to a fine of $200.00. Cleaning ash trays might be a pain in the ash for members of the housekeeping staff; but there would not be tip envelopes in the rooms. The first hotel property would be located on Tobacco Road in Hephzibah, which is located just south of Augusta, Georgia. Smokers would be required to light up; while non-smokers would be required to lighten up.
This might be the dream hotel for my friend who refuses to kick the cigarette smoking habit; but I would never go anywhere near it. I cannot even stand the smell of a room after a smoker has stayed in it. The unpleasant odor gets into the carpet, drapes and other fabrics and materials of the room where no amount of air freshener, fans or other devices and substances can ever completely eliminate it.
This, of course, leads back to the question: are the rights of smokers being ignored? Should there be a chain of hotels for smokers, who already suffer from being isolated in — and confined to — smoke-filled glass cages called smoking lounges at airports; and are finding that reserving rooms at hotel properties where smoking is permitted by guests is increasingly difficult? Would such a lodging chain be successful? Is the resolution simply a matter of smokers quitting smoking altogether — or, at least, walking outside so that they can satisfy their tobacco fixes?
What are your thoughts?