January 31, 2006


Westin touches match to smoke-free trend (Gary Stoller, USA TODAY)

A move this month by Westin Hotels & Resorts to go smoke-free may open the door to similar policies by competitors.

"I think it will be the start of a trend," says Joe McInerney, president of trade group American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 31, 2006 7:13 AM

Anti-smoking can be a wonderful market force, which is a good reason not to legislate smoking bans.

Posted by: R. Alex at January 31, 2006 9:59 AM

democracy is just a market.

Posted by: oj at January 31, 2006 10:58 AM

R. Exactly right. I like to be in a non-smoking environment, but voted against the prop. here in Florida. I don't want the government to dictate any more than they already do. Let market forces work.

We travel the highways and byways quite a bit and notice that more and more rooms are being designated as non-smoking.

Posted by: erp at January 31, 2006 11:01 AM

Hotel/motel rooms that is.

Posted by: erp at January 31, 2006 11:33 AM

We just went through the smoking ban debate in my city. It went back and forth pretty fiercely. Being from KY (tobacco state) you could well imagine.

The ban in public places passed. Any business that allowed people under age 18 to enter, had to ban smoking.

What I would like to see is a severe fine for throwing cig-butts on the ground outside these places too. What a disgustin mess.

Posted by: Bartman at January 31, 2006 1:09 PM

There's a correlation between cities and states that pass smoking bans and cities and states that pass legislation forcing the acceptance of homosexuality, Washington State being the most recent example of this trend. Why is this so?

Both involve the imposition of left wing morality, and both involve envy. It is non-smokers envy of the social ease of smokers which prevents non-smokers from tolerating smoking even in places they do not go themseleves. And it is homosexualists envy of those who aren't sexually disordered which impels them to advocate for "gay marriage" (which "tolerance" laws are the groundwork for) even though the majority of homosexualists do not actually want to get "gay married" themselves.

Also, the mush headed modern liberal sees "health" as the highest value. Smoking is unhealthy, it leads to disease in some people and by being an addiction for some people is itself a disease. This, to the modern liberal, outweights any of smokings benefits. But for the mush headed modern liberal having negative feelings toward homosexuals is also a disease. It's "homophobia", a mental disease that requires the passage of legislation to cure.

Posted by: Carter at January 31, 2006 3:06 PM

the reality of course is that both are self-destructive disorders and need to be banned by the non-disordered for the benefit of the ill.

Posted by: oj at January 31, 2006 3:14 PM

I, as a non-smoker, have absolutely no envy for smokers. What I envy is the ability to walk into a restaurant/bowling alley/arcade without sucking fumes the whole evening. I'm not even worried about "health" effects. It just tastes gross. Smells too. Of course, I don't have to visit those areas where smoking is allowed, and for the most part I don't. But there's more to being against smoking then envy.

Posted by: Jay at January 31, 2006 4:18 PM

I don't consider smoking or believing homosexuals are distasteful to be "self destructive" in most cases, but then I'm a conservative. To each his own.

Posted by: Carter at January 31, 2006 4:46 PM

Libertarian, not conservative.

Posted by: oj at January 31, 2006 5:13 PM

No, I'm a conservative, part of the great conservative smoking tradition which includes Kipling, Chesterton, Wodehouse, Russell Kirk, Nabokov, Oakeshott David Stove and Auberon Waugh, to name a few.

Libertarians are silly, and favor many things I disagree with, including open borders and homosexualist marriage.

Posted by: Carter at January 31, 2006 5:27 PM

No conservative believes something as asinine as "To each his own." Libertarians do.

Posted by: oj at January 31, 2006 5:32 PM

Cicero was a libertarian?

I'm not always as tolerant of anti-smoking liberals and their homosexualist activist allies as I'm being today, but that's just an indication of my mood, it has nothing to do with libertarianism.

Posted by: Carter at January 31, 2006 6:24 PM

See, I'm always intolerant of smoking and sodomy. No one has a right to harm themself.

Posted by: oj at January 31, 2006 6:32 PM

Yet beacuse of your irrational intolerance for smoking you find common cause with (in a different mood I might say you allow yourself to be used by) the promoters of sodomy. How sad.

Coincidentally Theodore Dalrymple has an item about smoking bans on The Social Affairs Unit blog today (Dr. Dalrymple is a conservative, like I am). It's quite good, you should google it up.

Some highlights:

"Health is not the only desideratum of human existence."

"Only if you regard a considerable proportion of the population as natural slaves in need of protection from themselves - therefore, who do things only because they cannot do otherwise - can you justify a total ban."

"With the downfall of the Soviet Union, I thought we might see the end of the ideological mode of thought, and regain some kind of subtlety. Instead, we seem now to live in cacophonous world of insistent and intolerant monomanias."

Posted by: Carter at January 31, 2006 7:09 PM

This idea will probably not spread due to strong countervailing market incentives. I work for Marriott hotels, and an interviewer recently asked our CEO if he would consider following Westin's lead. He said that company hotels will follow local laws, but that when a large business group shows up for a stay, it is usually the case that about 20% of their people smoke. I can't speak for Westin, but it's hard to ignore numbers like that.

Interestingly, Marriott is a Mormon-owned company -- you'd think if anybody was going to do this, they would've been the first.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 31, 2006 8:15 PM

Addendum to above: I should specify that the Marriott family is Mormon, but not owned or otherwise affiliated with the LDS.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 31, 2006 8:19 PM


Why? Just because they're wrong about butts doesn't mean they're wrong about butts. Neither of you should be allowed to degrade yourselves in a decent society.

Posted by: oj at January 31, 2006 8:36 PM

Jiminy Christmas, I meant to say the company is not owned or otherwise affiliated with the LDS.

Preview is my friend.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 31, 2006 10:48 PM