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Staying in a 100% Smoke-Free Hotel: A Do or a Drag?

Marking another milestone in the movement to snuff out smoking rooms for good, in July Wisconsin will become the first state to ban smoking in guestrooms of hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, and rental cabins. The law reinforces what many hotel chains are already doing; the first chain to go entirely smoke-free was Westin in 2006, and Marriott, Sheraton, and others weren’t far behind.

In his Washington Post column this week, Christopher Elliott points out that Wisconsin’s move is great news for those of us who have lost count of the number of smoking rooms we’ve endured despite efforts to avoid them. And most of us do try to avoid them: when Westin went smoke-free, the chain said it was a popular decision among the 92% of guests already requesting non-smoking rooms.

With the obvious health and comfort benefits for travelers, and the cost savings for hotels who can invest less in cleaning fabrics and stomping out odors, smoke-free hotels seems like a win-win notion to me. After all, it’s been 23 years since the first smoking ban on U.S. flights went into effect, and I think that law turned out quite well.

What do you think: would you be more or less likely to choose a hotel if it was a 100% smoke-free property?

Photo courtesy of: / CC BY 2.0


My name: Michelle Doucette

How I earn my keep: I'm an editor at

Favorite way to get around: Some of my favorite trips involved renting cars in foreign countries and driving through the countryside, stopping on whims. You get a feel for the culture away from the big cities and meet interesting people on the road, including, I must admit, an embarrassingly high number of local policemen. I suppose it would be prudent to learn all of the traffic laws ahead of time.

Best meal I've had while traveling: Since a succession of gelato cones probably doesn't count as a meal, my favorite must have been a fresh crabmeat lunch prepared by a St. John sailboat captain while we took a break from snorkeling in the Caribbean. Sharing baklava as the sun came up over Paros, Greece, (while, once again, not technically a meal) was also memorable.

Travel ambitions: Since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I've figured out that I'd like to keep trekking while traveling. I've got my eyes on epic hikes in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru.


Cherokee County Homes

I don’t smoke, but I still feel there should be a small percentage (<5%) of rooms designated as smoking only. This is America and all people still should have a choice.

Jennifer Gaines

I’m not a smoker. It’s disgusting on so many levels. But I agree with Cherokee. That right should not be taken away. Chances are, a smoker will light up in the hotel room anyway. I rather hotels designate cancer stick rooms and invest in filtration systems to ensure that it doesn’t bother other guests. If you get a room that smells like smoke, just tell the front desk and ask to move. I’ve done that a number of times.

Sahara Desert

I went on a trip this past weekend and stayed in a smoke free hotel. My boyfriend ended up smoking a bunch in the room, and not near the window or anything. Now there is a $250 recovery fee charged on my credit card because of my boyfriend smoking. They said that they found evidence of smoking in the room. I am not sure exactly what evidence they found. Is there anyway for me to get out of this charge?


Let the smokers stink up their own designated space, otherwise they’ll stink up the entire hotel. I can’t stand cigarette smoke.

Jennifer Gaines

SD – Let me get this straight. You were staying in a smoke-free hotel. Your boyfriend smoked anyway. You’re admitting this on a blog. The hotel charged you for smoking in a non-smoking room. (The evidence that you left behind, btw, was the awful smell that makes non-smokers gag!) And now you want to get out of the charge?! Get over it. Pay it. You deserve it.

Alan A

SD – You broke the rules, got caught and now you want to know how to get out of it? Simple… get your boyfriend to cough up the $250.


Smoking affects us all. Maybe we are not aware but others by smoking can harm us. We all must fight against smoking.piese auto import

steven s

Very nice post, good work.
Very helpeful.

Gregor S.
Free SMS

world economy

I just want smoke free world not only the hotels, trains and public places.


I think you guys are tramping this country’s founding principal and being hypocrits. It’s fine there are some hotels who move to entirely smoke-free, right on – but it should not be mandated by law. While in warmer temps fine, smokers simply go outside. BUT the point is: you don’t want to be inconvenienced with sleeping in a smoke-exposed room…. but you feel a smoker should have to be inconvenienced. Most hotels who have designated rooms do a great job segregating – and you can’t even tell. SO… stop being so hypocritical and end the double standard.

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