SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Going Smoke-free
By Rob Holston


January 17, 2007
Wednesday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska - Westin Hotels announces smoke-free lodging and many of us breathed a sigh of relief. Beginning in January of 2007, the Westin Hotel and Resort chain becomes the first major chain to ban smoking in their rooms, restaurants, lobbies and public areas. Westin states that at some locations, over 90% of check-ins are requesting non-smoking rooms. Their response to these requests comes as a welcomed change that will grab the attention of travelers and other lodging chains as well. Please support businesses that take bold steps to provide a healthier environment for you, your family and the general public.

Remember when certain airlines went smoke-free? As customers appreciated this smoking ban and began to gravitate towards this higher level of service, it didn't take long before the other airlines followed suit. Likewise in the hotel industry, as customers not only applaud this welcomed change, but back up their voice vote with bookings, it should not be long before other competitive hotel and motel chains go smoke-free.

gif smoking

Deadly smoking
By Aislin, The Montreal Gazette
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

Who are the real winners here? Travelers of course, including smokers. That's right, Westin discovered that smokers were among those requesting non-smoking rooms! Could it be that smokers also don't like the smell of old stink? It's obvious too, that non-smoking guests checking into Westins will be delighted to know that all rooms are now smoke-free. I am every pleased for the employees working at Westin, especially the room cleaning staff. The Westin staff will enjoy a cleaner environment in which to earn a living. Let's hope that Westin takes the precautions to completely clean and repaint or re-paper the rooms and replace or thoroughly clean all fabrics, such as bedding, drapes, curtains and floor coverings.

Westin will allow smoking on open air balconies but they should design stickers for all balcony doors that instruct smokers to keep the doors closed when giving in to their nicotine driven habit. And please, how about some basic instruction on purging the deadly toxins from smokers lungs before re-entering the room only to compromise the interior space with residual chemicals emitted by exhale. I was recently seated in a non-smoking cafe near an exit door that was used by smokers. Five to ten smokers at a time could be seen outside, puffing away! As they re-entered the café I could smell and taste the cigarette smoke that these smokers were exhaling. I would like to see all non-smoking businesses place their outdoor smoking areas well away from doors of re-entry. I applaud Ketchikan's Wal-Mart for their recent attempts at accomplishing this.

I pray that Westin sees dramatic increases in booking and profits by taking the bold move of providing that all their rooms are non-smoking. They will if travelers reward them with their business. It will not take long for other major chains to recognize that this policy is win win. Smoke-Free banners may soon be appearing on local ma & pop type motels that dot the American and Canadian landscapes also. As their bottom lines are affected, business owners will implement the smoke-free policy. This is good news for the health of the nation. Please support smoke-free businesses.


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Rob is a retired teacher and a resident of Ketchikan, Alaska. He is not a health care professional; however, he has an interest in health and fitness. You should contact your doctor regarding all health care issues and follow your doctor's advice.
Contact Rob at holston[at]

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