Malpractice News

May 18, 2013

Smoke spreads to Nonsmoking Hotel Rooms

For years, there has been a steady increase of legislation that controls when and where people can smoke. Smoke has been taken out of restaurants, bowling alleys, and most bars, but there are still many hotels with smoking and nonsmoking rooms available for their guests. The logic behind this is that the hotel can then cater to both kinds of people without exposing nonsmokers to secondhand smoke. New research, however, seems to suggest that this separation isn’t as complete as hotel executives might think.

Study looks at air and surface pollutants

Researchers looked at 10 hotels that allow no smoking whatsoever and 30 hotels that have some designated smoking rooms. In the course of the study, “they analyzed air and surfaces for tobacco smoke pollutants, took finger wipe samples to measure the presence of tobacco carcinogens, and tested the urine of nonsmoking occupants after they had stayed in the rooms.”

Nonsmokers exposed to significant levels of nicotine

Some nonsmoking rooms seemed to insulate their occupants fairly effectively and had almost no trace of pollutants. Other rooms, however, showed a level of tobacco air pollutants 5 times that of the rooms in completely nonsmoking hotels and a surface pollution 25 times as high. Some urine tests even found that the people who stayed in these rooms “had signs of nicotine exposure in their urine that were more than twice as high as those of nonsmokers who staying in nonsmoking hotels.”

These findings have led some researchers to say that having smoking and nonsmoking rooms in the same hotel does not work.


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