Partial cigarette ban in hotels ‘not enough to protect non-smoking visitors’

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NON-SMOKING holidaymakers should avoid hotels that have partial smoking bans, experts said after a study found that such restrictions do not protect people from tobacco smoke.

Researchers in the US looked for evidence of smoke pollution on surfaces and in the air quality of rooms in both non-smoking hotels and hotels operating partial bans.

They also analysed urine and finger wipe samples from non-smokers who stayed for one night at the hotels to assess their exposure to nicotine and a cancer-causing agent found specifically in tobacco smoke.

Their study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, took evidence from 10 hotels with complete bans and 30 with partial restrictions.

Researchers found elevated levels of tobacco smoke pollutants in both the smoking and non-smoking rooms of hotels that allowed people to light up – surface nicotine levels were more than twice as high as those in rooms of hotels with complete smoking bans.

They also found that air nicotine levels were 40 per cent higher in non-smoking rooms of hotels with partial restrictions, but the difference was not deemed to be statistically significant. Participants who stayed in hotels with partial bans showed higher levels of nicotine on their fingers than those who stayed in non-smoking hotels