Monday, May 27, 2013

The Smoking Motel

It's shocking to think that a few years ago, we used to allow smoking in our motel guest rooms.

The thought that we once allowed rooms to be continually subjected to plumes of nasty cigarette smoke absorbing into surfaces in a confined space and regularly subjecting hapless guests to foul air is difficult to comprehend.

Although we have various techniques to freshen-up rooms after smokers depart, in spite of the claimed benefits of sprays, ozone generators etc, in reality it takes many days for the stench of cigarette smoke to subside.

Back-in-the-day, complaints about smoky guest rooms were reasonably common, however there was also a reluctant acceptance by many other guests that a hint of cigarette smoke went with the territory.

In more enlightened times, the mere whiff of cigarette smoke in a guest room is offensive to most travellers - and rightly so.

I see that motels in New Zealand are being contacted by - a website that  provides an online platform for the "discerning" traveller that wish to select accommodation businesses based on their smoking policy.

The emphasis of the site is to highlight smoker-friendly travelling and lodging:
"Smokers United is not a political action group.
The main purpose of this project is to provide smokers with information about hotels with a smoker friendly policy.
By using this website for your bookings you give a clear signal that smokers are a significant target-group.
We do not approve smoking; smoking is not the best thing for your health.
We simple accept the fact that 23% of all people do smoke, and we hate discrimination.

Our team consists of 4 people (without a job and over 50 years of age) who try to make a living by contacting hotels, and providing you with smoker-friendly information."
The directory information presented on the Smokers United website, appears to be sourced from listings on and identifies accommodation businesses that: provide "smoking rooms", smoking lounges, allow smoking on balcony/patios and those that are 100 percent non-smoking.

A quick scan of the directory information presented would indicate that the smoking policy assumptions used on the website may not be 100 percent accurate, however I guess that's why they are contacting accommodation businesses directly and inviting them to to update information.

Using data from their listings, provide an interesting country comparison.

Today's snapshot has New Zealand featuring mid-pack:

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