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While hotels had plenty of seemingly self-serving and more cutesy-than-caring promotions for October's Breast Cancer Month, many are taking a more serious and hands-on approach during November's Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Hotels across the globe are opening their doors and inviting guests to take a proactive approach to end their smoking habits once and for all and reduce their chances of lung cancer, which, according to the Lung Cancer Alliance, "is the deadliest cancer in the world that takes more lives than breast, colon, pancreatic and prostate cancer combined."
Is quitting smoking on your New Year's resolution list? A trip to the UK might be in order.
Is quitting smoking one of your new year resolutions? The good news is that the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers has quit smoking this year, and they want to help you quit too.
The thing is that the Chicago Sheraton is now a 100% smoke-free environment, so rather than putting off its smoking guests, it's hoping to convert them to a smoke-free lifestyle with a couple of incentives. If you're staying at the hotel and you bring your pack of cigarettes and hand it over to the staff at the hotel fitness center, you'll be given a free one-day pass to use the fitness facilities.
The Chicago Sheraton suggests that "guests can "drown out" their cravings with a couple of laps" in the indoor swimming pool, although we're wondering if it's really that easy. On top of that, the trade-in for a pack of cigarettes will include a coupon to make one free phone call home, to get some moral support while you're trying to quit.
It's a cute gimmick, although we're not sure how many non-smokers it will produce, but what we're even more curious about is what the Chicago Sheraton fitness center staff are going to do with all the packs of cigarettes they collect.
[Update: Cambria Suites is 100% smoke free as well, according to the Choice peeps]
Despite the growing trend of hotels to go 100 percent smoke-free in their guest rooms and public spaces, not everyone is thrilled with these changes. And "not everyone" is mainly smokers.
Audrey Silk, founder of the NYC C.L.A.S.H. (Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment), sent us an email wondering if all Choice Hotels were 100 percent smoke-free as advertised on the Choice Hotels commercials. She writes:
The television commercial for Comfort Suites (with the catchy tune -- I'll give you that) includes the pronouncement "smoke-free everywhere..." At the end of the commercial several of the hotel chains under the Choice Hotel umbrella are promoted. This leaves the viewer with the impression that all of these brand name chains share/offer the same "100% smoke-free" accommodations.
I'm fairly certain that the only brand name hotel associated with Choice Hotels Int'l that has banned smoking even inside the guest rooms is Comfort Suites and not also Comfort Inn, Quality, and the few others included in the commercial.
Indeed, we tracked down a press release from March of this year that announced the Comfort Suites decision to go smoke-free by May 1, 2007.
We can't vouch for the rest of the brand but we have a feeling it is just Choice Hotels that is smoke-free. However, we've put in an email to a Choice Hotels rep but feel free to share your experiences with smoking at Choice Hotels here.
Meanwhile, we have posted the full email from Audrey after the jump.
Most people get sick AFTER visiting Las Vegas. All those late nights drinking, gambling, drinking some more, and perhaps smoking a cigarette or two with little sleep wears on your immune system so that by the time you get back home, after a germ filled flight no doubt, the head cold has already begun.
This time however, we headed to Vegas with some minor sniffles. It didn't seem like a problem. Our energy level was fine. We just had to blow our nose every now and then and pop some Dayquil.
Bad idea. Vegas is not the place to be when sick. First off, the casinos have some of the worst air quality in the world thanks to their Smoking Allowed policy just about everywhere. Second, they blow cold air all the time since its about 100 degrees outside. And third, you're in Vegas with a stuffed nose. That's not so attractive.
Now that we are safely back home in bed we've come up with a list of How to Cope in When You're Sick in Las Vegas.
- Sit outside. Despite the fact that the desert air quality is questionable at best, the heat is actually good for you and your mucous. That's why all the old folks move to Palm Springs. Besides, no matter what the pollen count, it beats getting blown over with cold air in the casino.
- No matter how tired/weak/sick you are, get yourself to the Walgreens on the Strip where you can buy cold medicine at "normal" prices. Otherwise, you'll be stuck paying $30 for a box of nasal spray and some decongestant in the hotel's gift shops.
- If you think you are really ill and might need to see a doctor, call the hotel's front desk and ask if they have an EMT on staff who can check you out. The EMT service, which is available at the Venetian for free, allows someone to assess your condition, give you advice and tell you whether or not you should shell out money for a doctor visit.
- Look for freebies. For instance, anywhere there is complimentary water bottles, shake 'em down for a few bottles to take back to your room. Also hide the in-room box of Kleenex so that when housekeeping comes they will replace it with a new one, essentially saving you from buying more. And if you can stand the smokey air for a few minutes, pretend to play the slots while the cocktail waitresses get you free ginger ales.
- If you feel well enough to gamble, hang out in the smoke-free areas of casinos, so you can at least try your luck without losing your lungs. Similarly, if your taste buds are still working (sadly ours had malfunctioned), look for the smoke-free areas of the strip restaurants.
If you have tried all of the above and still don't feel any better, then have a drink. It might make you feel worse the next day, but at least for a few hours you will forget how miserable you are.
Image via Splorp/Flickr