I read this part of the Marriott "smoke free policy":
4. How will smokers be accommodated? Will they be able to smoke on the property?
Although smoking is not permitted within hotel buildings themselves, guests who smoke are permitted to do so outside in designated areas.
I hate to ask this, but;
Why does it seem that most pool areas are smoking areas? Are the pools for the smokers to smoke by or for people (including children with extra vulnerable lungs) to swim in? It is not in the interest of swimmers to get a lungful of smoke while at the pool. PARTICULARLY in a smoke free hotel!
Why are people allowed to smoke on the balconies? Some balconies have no smoking signs but cigarette ashes on them. The ashes aren't cleaned between guests, so Marriott doesn't seem to care if people smoke on the balcony or not. Some hotels, in their hotel guide, actually state that the balconies are smoking areas - no smoking within 25 feet of a door, but those balconies above, below and on either side of you are fine to smoke on....are guests in a "smoke free" hotel supposed to not use their balcony?
Why are there ashtrays right beside the doors? You run into smokers when you enter and leave the hotel. Also, because they are "tubes", people throw cigarettes down them and you get tobacco smoke at the entrance, even when there aren't smokers there. Furthermore, even in places where there are local ordinances prohibiting smoking right at the entrance, in many cases, Marriott has NOT even abided by the local laws by moving the ashtrays (Seattle, Houston as two examples).
Why are there smoking areas on either side of the main entrances, on ALL of the benches, so there are no benches for non smokers to sit on, and the smoke blows into the hotel no matter which direction the wind is blowing?
When there is someone smoking in the room across from me, and the smoke is BILLOWING out their door into the hallway - this gets checked by me and my wife - and then a Marriott employee verifies it - and they mark down that it is SUSPECTED smoke? I can certainly figure out when someone is smoking in a room, and you should sure as heck figure out how to do it too. I'll give you a BIG hint - double check those rooms that have the "do not disturb" or "no maid service" signs on them all the time. FUTHERMORE, when someone pulls the trick of lighting up a cigarette, then calling the front desk to say that their room is smoky - and declinging the offer of a new room, someone should be dispatched immediately to check and see if the smoke is fresh. Furthermore, since the maid service already should have been checking for smoke, it should be a known fact that the room was NOT smoky. Anyone who reports a room as such should be required to move.
Let's all make sure to let Marriott know our opinions on how their smoke free policy really works, and INSIST that it be a cut above. I was very happy to see this policy come out, but I am continually and frequently disappointed by the implementation. It is VERY POORLY done.
Ever notice that a LOT of smokers still stay at Marriott? I"m glad to see them get business, but the truth is, the smokers are not noticing a lot of difference. I'm in a complex where there are three "non smoking" Marriott hotels, literally hundreds of other hotels around, and a TON of smokers are staying here. And yes, they are smoking in every place that they possibly can. There are ashes on my balcony. There are smokers around the pool, near the doors, all over the food service areas - the doors are open in the food services area, so the smoke pours in, always.
I hope that everyone who is supporting Marriott financially for this smoke free initiative (I am driving more business their way, but for what??) lets them know that there are higher expectations than what have been delivered. Right now, it is AMAZING how many times and where you run into smoke at a Marriott in the USA.
Of course, in Canada, they even have one that is directly connected to a smoky casino. And yes, the front desk staff said they found the smoke annoying at the check in as well. Actually, the smoke from the casino was not that much worse than the smoke at the elite check in area of the Los Angeles Airport Marriott, where they had moved the smoking areas so that it blew right into the lobby and the sports lounge.
Let's help Marriott realize what a smoke free experience really is and then support them by staying at their properties exclusively. They have a long ways to go, sadly. Smoke free is more than putting up signs, it is about monitoring and enforcement.
"Smokers and non-smokers CAN co-exist"
With all due respect, that statement comes across as an oxymoron. A smoke-free environment means 'smoke-free'. Free of smoke, the smell, the ashes, and the residual toxins that are inherent to the particles that travel wherever the air will carry them.
As fastidious as you confess yourself to be, there are smokers who are the exact opposite and will DEFIANTLY blow smoke down the hallway on the way to check-out directly in the face of housekeeping to boot. I'm not accusing you, but I've seen it happen! It is the exception, but it does and has happened.
On top of that, GMs have disclosed that imposition of the $250 recovery fee per incident is nearly always disputed by the credit card holder so the hotel is left with the expense of recovery on the balance sheet as bad debt.
To sum up, smokers and non-smokers CANNOT co-exist in a smoke-free environment.
You are 100% correct in your post. I agree with everything! I have had many posts on here about the smoking policy, most recently at the JW Marriott in Orlando where smoking at the pool and in the hot tubs was out of control, and when reported was told it was ok, and even the hotel manager called us at home when we came back to say it is allowed at any outdoor location, including the pool area. We have had many smoky balcony situations and have had to close our patio screen from smoke wandering in to our room. Any complaints we have ever had seem to fall on deaf ears. We are loyal Marriott members, but are always disappointed at these situations, and Marriott always fails to hold up their smoke free policy.
as someone pointed out to me recently, "'play nice, insiders".
Seriously, smokers and non-smokers can co-exist, just not in the same space at the same time. I totally respect a smokers right to smoke, just as I respected as a smoker the non-smokers right to a clean enviroment. There arte plenty of nice hotels that welcome smokers as guests and those that smoke can either stay in those properties, or, honor the policy of the property they are at. As a reformed non-smoker, I detest the smell of smoke in the room. However, on the golf course, I love the smell of a cigar. Unfortunately, I do have a nicotine addiction and cannot allow myself a single guilty pleasure, as I would be back to smoking immediately. Anyway, as long as this is America, the home of the free, we must co-exist.
Shoeman, yes and well said! But are you a reformed smoker or non-smoker always--not sure from what I read in your last post.
And coexistence is fine--just as long as everyone's rights are respected. A smoker needing a fix just cut in front of me in line at a Von's gorcery store, putting her pack of Marlboros on the belt with disregard for anyone in line. That addiction, like any other involves making personal choices, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it harms the smoker and the folks around him or her as well.
Smoking is highly correlated among teens with other bad behaviors, like truancy, shoplifting and so on. I personally would not and have not hired someone who currently smokes, and would argue loudly for a smoke free work place.
Here in California, where the decades old ordinances were first passed, it was based on a health of the employees in a restaurant or a bar. In a hotel, the same applies.
We can get along, but it needs to be on a basis of mutual respect and common sense.
Stepping Stones - I totally agree with all that you said. I would add that since the smoker's actions are what is in dispute, he or she needs to be a little heavier on the respect side than the non-smoker who's actions aren't in question. Does that make sense?
Regarding my status, I should be clear. I have been clean from tobacco for 3 years. I understand the addiction and will never allow another misstep.
"Regarding my status, I should be clear. I have been clean from tobacco for 3 years. I understand the addiction and will never allow another misstep."
Shoeman - Congratulations on those 3 years along with continued best wishes for a healthy life-long freedom from the chains of nicotine addiction.
"I personally would not and have not hired someone who currently smokes, and would argue loudly for a smoke free work place."
Aside from my perception that "pro-coexistence" and "loudly for a smoke-free work place" has a tinge of 'double-talk', your point is an excellent reminder that a smoke-free "work place" was at the heart of Bill Marriott's 2006 announcement,
“Creating a smoke-free environment demonstrates a new level of service and care for our guests and associates,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International. “Our family of brands is united on this important health issue and we anticipate very positive customer feedback.”*
In the home, in the workplace, at a restaurant or in a hotel room, NO ONE is immune from the effects of second-hand smoke. Residual particles from tobacco smoke go everywhere.
If I seemed unclear earlier, I agree wholeheartedly with Techie and LoriRobert that smoking on balconies of hotel rooms should be banned along with smoking on pool decks and hotel entranceways. If Marriott declared a corporate edict, then proper training should be given to assure complete implementation.
If Marriott truly has a 'Spirit to Serve' the communities they are in, then Marriott associates should be as actively engaged in a legislative effort to ban smoking subject to statutory penalty in order to protect the health of their guests and their associates.
Enough lip service. Zero tolerance!
Stiff penalties for abuse including imposing a mandatory end of Marriott Rewards membership might be a consideration--like the 1,000 or 10,000 littering fines that states have imposed.
As long as people try to get around a corporate policy of no-smoking with little fear of economic or personal impacts the smoking behavior will contnue.
Tech - you pointed out multiple instances where you know people are smoking, either in violation of the policy, or in an area where you are adversely affected by the second hand smoke. Did you report these problems to the hotel manager? Was action taken, or were you just given lip service? Did you stay at that hotel and just suffer and stay p.o.'ed, or did you check out and go to a competitor? I'm convinced that's the only language most of these hotel managers understand. Thanks for the keeping the heat on!