New York is about to go completely non-smoking in all hotel rooms, that is if a bill gets passed proposed by state lawmaker Ken Zebrowski. The measure was introduced last week and Zebrowski’s personal experience helped craft the bill.
Zebrowski is frequently in hotel rooms, and he said that if you are above or below the smoking room, the smoke travels right through the ventilation system. There is a current trend to try to improve the health of people in New York, and this bill fits right along with that premise, according to Zebrowski. Zebrowski wants people to realize that ventilation systems are not good enough to be able to clear the air from smoke, and that enclosed environments like at a hotel is a place where you will wind up not protected from the actions of others, such as smoking. He also went on to say that smokers are already accustomed to going outside to have a cigarette, so why should it still be allowed in the hotel or motel rooms?
Zebrowski believes he will get enough support within the legislature, and he thinks because he has not targeted smoking in the past that much that it will help this bill gain more support. Zebrowski also said that the American Lung Association and the POW’R Against Tobacco, which is a local anti-tobacco group, both gave their support for his bill. The American Lung Association said in a statement that banning smoking in hotels would help both the guests of the hotels and the workers of the hotels.
There are already four other states that prohibit smoking in hotel rooms, which include North Dakota, Michigan, Vermont, and Wisconsin. New York would be number five if it passes, and hotel chains nationwide do also ban smoking in their hotels as well. The Marriott, Westin, and Hilton all have a nationwide ban on smoking in their hotel chains. The New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association said that they did not have a comment and they were still trying to gauge the reaction of their 1,300 members about the proposed ban. It is not known when the bill would be put up for a vote or how long it would take before it went into effect after it passes, but it would be something that all hotels in the state of New York would have to abide by after it becomes law. It is already known that the places that allow smokers where they are not supposed to be end up getting fines and possible license revocations depending upon what type of establishment it is. New York is one of the prominent states when it comes to trying to limit the behaviors of people through enacting laws in order to try to correct “bad” behaviors, such as the infamous large soda ban. It is not known whether or not this law would impact electronic cigarettes, which do not contain any smoke, but instead just water vapor, which is not toxic or bad for the environment or for the people around.
While it was not stated, this seems to be aimed at second and third-hand smoke, which a lot of lawmakers claim is really an issue, although there is no data scientifically to show second hand smoke is that big of an issue. The biggest issue for New York is that there are many hotels that offer smoking in some of their rooms, so it is not known whether or not any of the hotels have come out to say that this would be good or bad for business. The one good thing about this would be that it would make rooms easier to clean, because smoke often stains walls and the bedding, and this requires a thorough washing to get out the residue of the nicotine. That would be a benefit for the hotels because it would eliminate the need for the deep cleaning of these rooms and it would cut down on costs because it would not take a worker as long to clean the room as it does now, especially if the room is going from a smoking room to a non-smoking room. Zebrowski is hoping more lawmakers come forward to support his bill and vote yes for the ban on smoking in hotel rooms, although only time will tell whether he gets the support he needs for this to pass as a law.