The Hotel Guy: To Butt Or Not

by Alan Campbell, Featured Contributor

MANY years ago in a faraway place there were a group of people that spent their time smoking tobacco related products (cigarette’s) it was the rage, and it was Hotel Hospitalityconsidered cool, and sophisticated. The cigarette market was mostly directed at the men at the time. There were many commercials, as well as Hollywood stars advocating smoking. You all remember those Marlboro, Camel, and Lucky Strike commercials from yester year. For those that smoked it got their attention, but in the background there was a plan to stop the smoking trend, a quiet group that went largely unnoticed, until new ordinances were passed restricting smoking in certain areas.

The nonsmokers strike:

Health consciences people started to complain, and most cases would not patronize smoking establishments. It started at first with designated areas for smokers, but the smoke still traveled in to the nonsmoking areas, so this was not working out. Soon ordinances were enacted that made businesses partition of the smoking area. Some establishments built a room within a room with glass partitions, however this soon became the smoker’s nightmare, for they soon realized how a guppy feels in a fish bowl. Well that was not going well at all. Airports had designated areas for smokers, you should remember that, the smoking area looked like it was fogged in. Airlines also had some smoking sections, but it proved to be futile as well. So, as we all know most places if not all are non-smoking, especially in California. Recently Starbucks stopped their patrons from smoking in their outside seating.

The nonsmokers won the battle, not because they outnumbered the smokers, they won because the smokers firmly believed that it was fad and it would go away. By the time they realized that it was serious, it was too late.

The new age of electronics may soon change the smoking war. This is for the hospitality industry benefit, review your smoking policies that you have in place.

The e-cigarette has arrived, and it was a very popular item at the recent CES show. The e- cigarette is vapor operated battery smoking device, it emits water vapor, or steam that emulates smoke. It has yet to be determined if any what effects it may have. I examined some of the smoking polices of various hotel properties, and there is no clear determination of the policy there is mention that tobacco related products are not allowed in public areas. However those were put in place prior to the nonsmoking ban that covers the entire property.

The e-cigarette does not use tobacco. It heats up a small portion of nicotine that creates a water vapor steam that resembles smoke. Now you know that there are no studies that can say if this is good or bad, however if you don’t want a war with your nonsmoking patrons insert a new line in you smoking policies. Remember at the bottom of most menus it states “This is a tobacco free establishment” You better insert including e-cigarettes.



Alan Campbell
Alan Campbell
ALAN is a highly accomplished, results oriented Hotelier with many years of experience in developing and delivering strategies and implementing solid organizational cultures that addresses the needs of the customer, colleagues, owners, community and industry. He has been in Las Vegas for over 30 years and has worked for the major strip hotels. Alan has spent some time in California, Los Angeles where he worked for the Radisson and Sheraton hotels. He considers the hospitality industry the best job in the world – it is the only place that both king’s and Paupers will visit you. Alan is also a featured contributor for, the “Global Hotelier’s Community.”

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