Traveling this summer? You won’t believe what researchers found in “smoke free” hotel rooms! Show Notes

Thursday, May 23, 2013 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Have you ever checked into a "non-smoking" room and a hotel and caught the distinct odor of cigarette smoke? Well, there’s a reason for that. 

According a story in USA Today, researchers have found that when a hotel allows smoking in any of its rooms, the smoke gets into all of its rooms.

Georg Matt, a researcher at San Diego State University, says nicotine residues and other chemical traces don't stay in the smoking rooms. He says "they end up in the hallways and in other rooms, including non-smoking rooms."

The study found smoke residue on surfaces and in the air of both smoking and non-smoking rooms in 30 California hotels where smoking was allowed. Levels were highest in the smoking rooms, but levels in non-smoking rooms were much higher than those found at 10 smoke-free hotels.

Volunteers who stayed overnight in the smoking hotels also ended up with sticky nicotine residues on their fingers, whether they stayed in smoking rooms or not.

Matt says his study suggests non-smokers should choose only hotels with no smoking. He says it's likely that non-smoking guests are routinely exposed to second-hand smoke seeping under doorways and moving through ventilation systems as people smoke elsewhere in hotels.

The study also shows widespread contamination with what researchers call "third-hand smoke," the pollutants left behind on furniture, drapes, carpets and in the air, long after cigarettes are extinguished.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, second-hand smoke is linked with a variety of health effects, including asthma attacks, heart disease and lung cancer,. The effects of third-hand smoke are not as clear.

I’m Bill Maier for family friendly, commercial free, WBCL.

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