Except for a handful of properties, many hotels in the world are turning toward a smoke-free property, largely for health and safety reasons, but also because smoke can be incredibly destructive to property and furnishings.
While it’s easy enough to keep smokers confined to designated rooms, the smoke itself is harder to contain. While hotel smoke detectors protect guests, smoking in a room can cause significant property damage.
Cigarette smoke is unique to other odor-emitting materials. The smell lingers long after cigarettes have been smoked. Everything from carpet fibers to furniture and even the cabinets and walls can harbor the stale smell for months after a smoker leaves. In fact, it was found that non-smokers who slept in a non-smoking hotel room tested positive for smoke exposure. Non-smoking hotel rooms typically had more third-hand smoke when they were part of hotels that allowed smoking in designated rooms.
Many hotels are opting to go smoke-free, including Choice Hotels, Wyndham Grand, and Hilton’s brands, Canopy and Tru. Hoteliers even say that smokers ask for non-smoking rooms these days. It’s an issue for hotels, as they incur extra expenses to clean and maintain smoking rooms, as well as handling the cost of replacing items damaged by smoke and cigarette burns. With shifts toward better health, no one wants a smoking room anymore—even smokers.
To combat ruined furnishings, hotels must take action. Housekeepers typically have to use odor-neutralizing chemicals in
addition to cleaning the HVAC filters that harbor the smell. The rooms often have to be removed from inventory to receive a thorough clean and new upholstery, if necessary. This process can take a considerable amount of time and money.