SUFFERN, NY – Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-New City) introduced legislation that would add hotel and motel rooms to the list of places where smoking is restricted under the Clean Indoor Air Act (A.8371). Currently, the Clean Indoor Air Act exempts hotels and motel guest rooms from the list of prohibited places. He made the announcement at the already smoke-free Crowne Plaza in Suffern, NY.
“Smoke cannot be confined to just one room. Smoke travels through walls and ventilation systems into other guests’ rooms causing an unpleasant environment. This issue is a matter of public health and I believe it will benefit the accommodation industry by removing the burden of making smoking rooms available that are difficult to clean and which negatively impact other guests,” said Assemblyman Zebrowski.
Representatives from POW’R Against Tobacco, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and Bon Secours Charity Health System stood with Zebrowski in support of the bill, which takes a major step in protecting consumers from secondhand smoke.
Jeff Reilly, AHA volunteer Heart Walk Chair and COO of Bon Secours Charity Health System expressed support for the bill.
“All of the hospitals in our system have smoke-free campuses. Bon Secours and the American Heart Association support this proposal and urge all of our state leaders to support it as well,” Reilly said.
“We know that smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease,” stated Robin Vitale, Senior Director of Government Relations for the American Heart Association in New York. “As a result, the American Heart Association applauds this proposed ban on smoking in hotel and motel rooms. In this case, it guarantees that all overnight guests can rely on an environment that doesn’t promote disease. ”
Secondhand tobacco smoke contributes to about 34,000 premature heart disease deaths and is responsible for a myriad of respiratory illnesses and cancer.
“This initiative will not only benefit guests, but also the hotel employees who are exposed to smoke. This will ensure they have a smoke-free workplace and are afforded the protections that employees in other industries have,” said Zebrowski, calling on New York to set an example for the hotel industry.
New York would join five other states that have enacted similar bans on smoking in hotel rooms. In addition, several hotel chains have voluntarily imposed smoking bans in their hotels.