Bill Proposed to Ban Smoking from Hotels in New York
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Smoking has already been banned in most public places in the United States, and a New York assemblyman has proposed a bill that would outlaw smoking in hotel and motel rooms.
In a report from Jon Campbell of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the new bill being proposed by Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski would remove the exception for hotels in the Clean Indoor Air Act that was passed in 2003.
The Clean Indoor Air Act allows smoking in hotels, private residences, automobiles, cigar bars, membership organizations and retail tobacco shops, but Zebrowski says that his own personal experience led to him proposing the new bill.
Zebrowski told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, “I’ll be honest, I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms. One of the things I’ve noticed is if you are above, below or next to a smoking room—even if you’re a non-smoker—it comes right through the vents.”
When Zebrowski and the other lawmakers return to the capital in January, the bill will need a sponsor in the senate, but there will likely be opposition from the tobacco industry. While several major hotel chains have already banned smoking, lobbyists for big tobacco still argue business owners should have the right to decide for themselves.
New York is not the first state to toss around the idea of banning smoking in hotels, either, as four states have already passed legislation outlawing it.
As far as what the stance is for New York’s lodging industry, New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association vice president Mark Dorr told Campbell, “At this point, with the bill being introduced, we will go out to our 1,300 members, survey them and talk to them before we can give industry-wide feedback. So we really don’t have a position on it right now.”
More by Donald Wood
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