Study finds non-smoking rooms, hallways tainted by nicotine
By USA Today
Published: Monday, May 13, 2013, 9:57 p.m.
Anyone who has ever walked into a non-smoking hotel room and caught the distinct odor of cigarette smoke will not be surprised by the findings of a new study: When a hotel allows smoking in any of its rooms, the smoke gets into all of its rooms.
Nicotine residues and other chemical traces “don't stay in the smoking rooms,” said Georg Matt, a psychologist from San Diego State University who led the study, published on Monday in the journal Tobacco Control. “They end up in the hallways and in other rooms, including non-smoking rooms.”
The study found smoke residue on surfaces and in the air of smoking and non-smoking rooms in 30 California hotels where smoking was allowed. Levels were highest in the smoking rooms, but levels in non-smoking rooms were much higher than those found at 10 smoke-free hotels.
Volunteers who stayed overnight in the smoking hotels ended up with sticky nicotine residues on their fingers, whether they stayed in smoking rooms or not.
Urine tests found additional evidence of nicotine exposure in those who stayed in smoking rooms but not those who stayed in the non-smoking rooms.
The research is released as smoke-free hotels are becoming more common, though not as common as smoke-free bars and restaurants. Many large chains, including Marriott, Westin and Comfort Inn, have gone smoke-free, and hotels must be smoke-free by law in four states and 71 cities and counties, according to the Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation. Nearly two-thirds of hotels responding to a recent survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association said they were smoke-free, though just 39 percent of economy hotels said so.
The reason many hotels still offer smoking rooms is that some domestic and international travelers want them, said Kathryn Potter, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Washington-based hotel association. “I have family members (and) friends who book hotels based on where they can smoke,” she said.
About one in five U.S. adults smoke, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Deal reached in Ukraine crisis talks, but U.S. remains wary of Russia’s end game
- Imam’s influence detailed as NYC terror trial begins
- Scientists achieve cloning advance for use in treating diseases
- Clinton donor pleads guilty in illegal campaign contributions
- Heroin-related deaths set record in Ohio
- Law firm that cleared Christie recently gave $10K to GOP governors group
- Another arrest made in abduction of N.C. prosecutor’s father
- National Portrait Gallery features abstract expressionism of familiar faces
- Chelsea Clinton expecting first child
- Obamacare estimates beaten by 1M
- GAO finds just 1 percent of large partnerships audited by IRS