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.
“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.
The bill has gained support from POW’R Against Tobacco, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and Bon Secours Charity Health System, all of which think this bill takes a major step in protecting consumers from secondhand smoke.
“The American Lung Association commends Assemblyman Zebrowski for proposing commonsense legislation that would expand New York’s smoke-free law by making hotel and motel rooms completely smoke-free,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “We hope this important public health measure is adopted so that hotel guests along with the tens of thousands of hotel workers in New York can breathe clean smoke-free air. It is steps like these along with our program, POW'R Against Tobacco that strive to create tobacco-free environments.”
“We applaud Assemblyman Zebrowski for sponsoring this legislation that will protect the health of those who stay and work in hotels and motels. Hotel and motel visitors and employees must not be forced to risk their health and their lives merely to stay overnight or go to work,” said Julie Hart, Director New York Government Relations of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “Sadly, over 107,000 New Yorkers are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year. Smoking and secondhand smoke increases the risk of many cancers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals including about 70 that can cause cancer. It should go without saying that everyone has a right to breathe smoke-free air. We urge full legislative support for this bill.”
“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. ”
“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.
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.
“New York can set an example by making the hotel industry completely smoke-free. Consumers deserve accommodations that are clean, healthy and free of unwanted smoke,” concluded Zebrowski.