Exploring national and independent hotels' decision to go smokefree voluntarily
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Background: Smoking restrictions reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, reduce smokers' daily consumption of cigarettes, stimulate quitting, and denormalize smoking. In states or localities where they are not legally required to be smoke free, 15 hotel chains and numerous independent hotels have implemented voluntary indoor smoking bans. No previous studies have examined the reasons for this emerging phenomenon. We sought to learn what motivated hotel owners to make their hotels smoke free and how the media, customers and the tobacco industry responded. Methods: We conducted qualitative case studies of 3 California independent hotels and 1 national hotel chain, utilizing management interviews, analysis of media coverage, and unobtrusive observations. We analyzed the data using grounded theory techniques. Results: Hotel owners and managers had several reasons for going smoke free, including image enhancement, reduced cleaning costs, and customer demand. Employee and/or customer health played little or no role in the decision. Hotel owners and managers reported that customer reaction was largely positive, and that they had experienced no pushback from the tobacco industry. Media coverage of the chain hotel (an early adopter of a smoke-free policy) was extensive, and also largely positive. Conclusions: Mandatory smokefree policies remain the gold standard for protecting public health, but in locales where such policies cannot yet be implemented, advocates can encourage voluntary adoption of smokefree hotel policies by emphasizing both their business and health benefits.
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research
Explain why hotels voluntarily went smoke free.
Describe media coverage of hotels’ decision.
Identify ways for tobacco control advocates to encourage such initiatives.
Keyword(s): Tobacco Policy, Tobacco Control
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project director for the NCI-funded study from which this presentation will be drawn. I also collected part of the data (interviews and observations) that will be presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.