The dangers of first- and second-hand smoke are well documented. But lately increasing attention is being paid to so-called “third-hand smoke.”
Third-hand smoke refers to the post-smoking toxic residue left behind by cigarettes that floats in the air and settles on surfaces. Without even consciously thinking about it, anyone who has ever spent time around smokers knows that tobacco smoke can stick to surfaces such as clothing, walls, floors, carpeting, drapes and furniture, and can linger for days or even weeks. However, scientists are now looking into the potentially harmful effects of the lingering chemicals.
According to a study recently published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, residue of nicotine that lingers on surfaces can react with other chemicals in the air to form potent carcinogens — chemicals linked to various types of cancer. The study also suggests that third-hand smoke poses the greatest risk to infants and toddlers, who would be the most likely to come into direct contact with clothing or carpet where the smoking residue resides.
"Smoking outside is better than smoking indoors but nicotine residues will stick to a smoker's skin and clothing," said the study co-author Lara Gundel. "Those residues follow a smoker back inside and get spread everywhere."
In the study, the authors also recommend several ways to limit the impact of third-hand smoke, including 100 percent smoke-free environments in public places and self-restrictions in homes and cars.
Third-hand smoke can be particularly onerous to the hospitality industry. In the confined setting of a hotel room, the smell and residue from smoking can linger on long after a guest has checked out, no matter how good the housekeeping staff may be.
For those health-conscious travelers, FreshStay.com has the most comprehensive listing of 100% smoke-free hotels in the world. In each of these hotels, smoking is not just banned in guest rooms, but also all meeting rooms, restaurants and other public spaces.
While no one can guarantee a complete elimination of third-hand smoke, FreshStay facilities reach out to socially responsible travelers and cater to guests that share the same healthy values. They make it known that smoking in the hotel is not acceptable. Some hotels even offer rooms or floors with indoor air quality enhancements.
Now, FreshStay is making it easier for its hotel partners to market themselves as a smoke-free alternative. Members of FreshStay.com have access to the following tools from the FreshStay toolbox:
- FreshStay certificates to display prominently in the hotel lobby;
- FreshStay logo files for use with e-mail signatures for all staff members;
- FreshStay logo files for website, guestroom collateral, such as tent cards that emphasize 100% non-smoking);
- FreshStay logo files for use in Guest Service Directories;
- FreshStay logo files for 22” x 28” lobby & Elevator posters; and
- FreshStay logo for use on Promotional items for the hotel, such as water bottles, t-shirts, coffee cups, etc.
Las Vegas may be known for the vices it offers, but the Platinum Hotel and Spa has carved out a smoke-free niche for itself just a half-block off the Strip.
The Platinum Hotel is completely non-gaming, non-smoking; basically it’s not your typical Las Vegas hotel. The boutique hotel features suite-style accommodations, balconies, Jacuzzi tubs, and other amenities designed to get you away from the hustle and bustle of Vegas – at least temporarily.
“We’re close enough to the Strip that you can go out and do what you want, but still have a place to come back to get away from the noisy and smoke-filled casinos,” says Phil BeMiller, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Platinum Hotel. “Whether they’re here for business or pleasure, we’re a nice alternative to have.”
BeMiller explains that the hotel has received a lot of feedback from guests who say they chose the Platinum because it is smoke free and non-gaming. They also get a fair share of families and youth groups who want a fresh and clean environment.
“We offer an intimate, smoke-free, sanctuary in which to escape the commotion of Vegas, so that’s really one of the key selling points for us,” BeMiller says. “To be as close as we are to the Strip – you can touch it, feel it, be at the heart of it – and still be smoke-free, that’s really unique for us.”
“And working with FreshStay gives us direct access to that consumer who is looking for this kind of environment.”
Similarly, the Country Inn & Suites – Miami/Kendall finds that its smoke-free policies attract a lot of students from out of town and families. Located in the heart of Miami, the hotel is situated on a lake, and adjacent to a mall undergoing extensive remodeling, which helps attract families looking to shop to the area.
“Being 100 percent smoke-free really helps to bring in groups like that,” says Carmen Layne-Powers, Sales Manager for the Country Inn & Suites – Miami/Kendall. “Our service and attention to details like that are very important to us. We like to say we’re a three-star hotel with a five-star attitude.”
“That wouldn’t be possible without getting a commitment from our guests. We would like to thank our business guests from physicians to construction crews for honoring our smoke free home,” she adds.
The Country Inn & Suites – Miami/Kendall went smoke-free about three years ago during its own renovations. Also, as part of the Carlson brand, the hotel was looking for ways to go green – and being smoke-free is definitely part of that process.
“We advertise that we are a member of FreshStay so people know exactly who we are when they come here,” says Ms. Layne-Powers. “In the past, when we had a smoker in the hotel, sometimes we wouldn’t be able to rent out that room after they left because it still smelled of smoke. It’s made a big difference in cleaning times, and makes the hotel a better place to be for families, guests and even our staff.”
“We’re even looking at offering some new promotions where you’ll receive something extra if you’ve been referred to us through FreshStay,” she adds.
Along with its hotel partners, FreshStay.com has also been working with CEG Global Solutions to expand its reach. With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, CEG provides support and consulting services to hotel properties. Specializing in revenue management, CEG understands the benefits and value that FreshStay.com brings to its partners.
“Anytime you step out on a limb with a unique offering you need to have a multitude of channels to promote it,” says CEG’s Allan Wlaschin. “Our partnership with Freshstay.com makes sense because we are providing our hotel partners and opportunity to take advantage of a specific segment and they are doing what is necessary to promote and capture the guests looking for these types of properties. Given that we can create a special rate and provide the site with a special URL it gives us the ability to quantify our investment, which is essential.”
CEG works with several major hotel brands including, Country Inn & Suites, Radisson Hotels, Doubletree Hotels, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Homewood Suites, Park Inn & Suites, La Quinta and other independent hotels. All CEG Global Solutions consultants and staff have revenue optimization experience across several brands and our expertise with various hotel brands and situation allows to work with any hotel, regardless of their Property Management System (PMS) or Reservation System (CRS).
“When deciding to go smoke-free it really comes down to the market. If you have a market that has hotel brands like Marriott and others that are converting to nonsmoking, we will at least encourage our hotels to consider it as an option,” Wlaschin says. “If it is a new concept to the market, we also discuss it from an opportunity to be ‘unique’ to the market as the first non smoking hotel.”
“In the end we look at the opportunity and if we can open ourselves up to market to a different segment and gain share then it is something we encourage our hotel partners to do.”
About Pineapple Hospitality
Headquartered in Saint Charles, Missouri, Pineapple Hospitality™ brings fresh ideas to hospitality guests’ doors and owner/operators’ bottom lines — including FreshStay® (www.freshstay.com), EcoRooms & EcoSuites (www.EcoRooms.com), Environmentally Sensitive Amenities™, EO®, ecossential elements, Sonoma Soap Co. , Earth Perfect, Earth Simple, Save Your World, Pharmacopia, and greenSPA™ amenities, AVIVA and WAVE dispensers, Energy Efficient Lighting and Controls, Custom Linen & Towel Re-Use Programs, Green Earth Key Cards, Sleeves and Folders, Energy Management Systems and Controls, High Performance showerheads, Zero Odor, and dozens of other products and programs. For more information, please visit www.pineapplehospitality.net, or call us at 636-922-2285.
FreshStay® is a registered trademark of Pineapple Hospitality, Inc.
Breathe Easy, Sleep Great™ is a trademark of Pineapple Hospitality, Inc.
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