Something that should be moderate better in 2009...EDIT: Information from Westin:

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Trpdwarf's picture
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I wonder if anyone else noticed this.

At the entrance to the Westin (the revolving door thing), there were too many people smoking right at the entrance, and hardly anyone was doing anything about it. There was a sign, that said that people need to smoke at least 5 feet away from the entrance(that at times no one was obeying), and after a few days the entire entrance stunk of cigarette smoke. There is no reason for people be to using the main entrance as a smoking lounge. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate smokers, but I wish more of them would have been a little more courteous, and stepped away from the revolving entrance. Even a friend of mine, who is a smoker, was put off by the stink.

It's pretty bad that the group smoking a Hookah, had no odor at all, and yet the entire entrance of the Westin smelled like a smoker's car.

Did this bother anyone else? Can they do something to prevent this in 2009?

EDIT: I just got off the phone with someone at the Westin, and according to them, you are not supposed to smoke within 15 feet of the entrance. Anyone who is smoking within 15 feet is supposed to reported to security.

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Protocollie's picture
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Wasn't bothered and really didn't notice it. That said, I'm a smoker. I really don't think it has anything to do with proximity, I think it's sheer volume. There's lots of furries and on average, it seems like furries are more likely to smoke. That's always sorta been the 'smokers corner' at AC and I don't really think there's a better place for it.

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Toolfox's picture
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To me, this sounds like it might fall under the Westin rather than Anthrocon as it is a common, public-accessible area and not a rented meeting space.

Contact the Westin (local Pittsburgh management; be polite and don't escalate to the corporate home office right away) and ask them what is their policy on outdoor smoking in proximity to building entrances. There might not be a chain-wide or per-property corporate policy on this, but their might be a local city ordinance: Many cities have such laws banning smoking within "x" number of feet of a public building entrance. Depending on the definition of "public building," the Westin might or might not be subject to such a law, should it actually exist.

Given the number of smokers, there is probably no such local law, corporate policy in effect, or the will of local hotel management to enforce such rules (they certainly don't want to aggravate paying customers). Politely mention that you prefer not to have your clothing reek of cigarettes simply by the act of trying to enter their establishment.

Armed with the hotel's response and smoking policy, maybe the Anthrocon hotel liaison could help establish some sort of compromise that all (smokers and non-smokers alike) can live with.

As a non-smoker (and the friend of someone violently allergic to cigarette smoke), I'm already facing the fact that I'll be battling at least one or two "fench" clouds during the course of the weekend without layering nicotine on top if it.

Toolfox

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Trpdwarf's picture
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Are you sure? It might really be between the Convention Center and the Westin, or do they work as one?

It's a bit too late on my end (to call) but I'll see what I can do about calling up the Westin during the day and finding out about their policy....and get back to this thread with it later.

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Heya Toolfox! Long time no see! I wasn't at Anthrocon this year but I'd like to e-mail you and PV. Drop me a line!

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Quote:
I'd like to e-mail you and PV. Drop me a line!

Message sent last Tuesday. Operators are still standing by...

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If it happens in 2009, just let one of the Dorsai Irregulars (wear bright red "Anthrocon Security" t-shirts) know and they can do a little crowd control.

Alternatively, you can come on up to the Con Ops Office in the Crawford Room on the Third Floor and let us know. That room also doubles as Security HQ and we can dispatch one or more members of security to help.

 
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I'll be sure to do that next convention if I notice it happening again.

I happen to be quite sensitive to cigarette smoke. This is why when other people around me smoke I either leave or move far away from it. It gets me very sick very fast. I'm actually sick right now, from a combination of going in and out of the Westin and dealing with the smoke, and the general air in Pittsburgh, which was quite polluted.

If it turns out nothing can really be done to curb the crowd I might just find a different route, that hopefully lets me avoid the smoke cloud.

What is the Crawford Room....and the third floor of what? The Westin?

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What Giza said. This is an area where both we and the hotel are driven by complaints. During my shifts as duty office, I don't recall a single complaint about it - but man, as a non-smoker I hated stepping out that door.

In earlier years, the hotel seemed pretty pleased to get such complaints. Apparently their staff doesn't like it any better than we do, but they can't act unless someone complains. Just life in the hospitality business, I guess.

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I will definitely keep this in mind, I didn't know there was room to complain about this. I'm a bit of a special case, but for health reasons, I literally had to hold my breath to walk across the driveway every single time, and it wasn't nearly that bad last year. It was one thing to do that when I had to pick up deliveries from a bar I worked for, but it really bothers me to have to do it on vacation :-\

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The Hookah was about 10+ feet away from the entrance....and the Mint Tobacco they used cleared up my sinuses. XP

Crowd control close to the revolving door should be controlled a little bit better.

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Was that the sweet smell?

Wow geeze, THAT almost attracted ME to smoking. It was almost pleasant.

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What about the following areas: on the corner towards the convention center, Under the skybridge (since you know rain will make all the smokers congregate there) on the Westin side, outside the restraunt/open hallway area (outside by the atm). I'd add in over by the river, on the 2nd and 3rd floor balconies, the convention center roof, in the pedestrian areas that go through the convention center at street level and such, but I don't know if the DLCC staff prohibit smoking around the building.

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I am one of those horrible horrible smoker types (not one that stood right outside the door), and I'll have to agree that smokers should not be standing there right infront of the door making life miserable for the nonsmokers. There was plenty of room for people to smoke in the right areas.

Also on that note I would like to see somethign done about the huge cluster of people that blocked the inside of the door makeing it nearly impossible to get in or out of the westin most of the time. But you know, both of these items would involve people having common sense. Sticking out tongue

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You know what they say about common sense, right?

It's not so common. XP

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I secretly cringed every time I had to go though the doors in front of the Westin to reach the zoo or other places. So many smokers that even though it was outside it smelled like funk. I even had two guys puff out right in front of me! Gross. Urrgh or Doh I agree they should at least be corralled off to the side or something away from most of the publics eyes.

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This is a very touchy subject you know.

You're going to say "why can't you walk off to the side and do it?" and we're going to say "why can't you deal with the smell for ten seconds while you walk through?" I think most smokers are pretty touchy about this as lately the trend has been the comfort and enjoyment of everyone else above us, and it's not even a matter of us being inconsiderate a lot of the time. In philly there were lots of dive bars where it was cool to smoke and the clientele expected it that were nice to hang out in, and one day you're not allowed to anymore. And this happens a lot.

I've had people make a point of stopping me on the street to interject their feelings on the matter which only makes them stand around it longer rather than walk past me for two seconds and then move on.

I think the general rule and manner in which the hotel handles it (you can tell where they want you to smoke by where they place the ash trays or smokers' outposts) is that smoking should be done on those benches inside the little triangle wedges on either side of the doors which sorta separates the smokers out from people trying to get in and out of the hotel. With so many people, though, it's going to be hard to regulate. And anywhere else we could stand would be in the rain, which is patently hard to smoke a cigarette in.

I'm not trying to say I don't see where you're coming from, just understand that just like you have your issues of comfort (you don't like the smell) we have ours (we enjoy cigarettes) before any decisions or rules are made. That's all this really comes down to, in the end.

The people standing directly in front of the doors were certainly out of line, at any rate. Also, it wouldn't hurt for people to use the ashtrays rather than throw them on the ground.

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Yanno, you bring up something that bugs me as a non-smoker -- with all the laws and stuff being thrown at smokers, we've not left you all any place to smoke that's NOT right in the way. Wish I knew what to do about that, but I don't.

And I say that as someone with a sense of smell so tuned that I can't stand to be near a smoker even when they aren't smoking. It's not even a matter of not liking the smell, it's a matter of my nose stopping up like a cold and my eyes watering, which isn't pleasant. I actually kind of like the smell of tobacco itself, reminds me of when I was little, being around my extended family. I just can't do much about how my body responds to it.

But I digress. Even with all that, I'll admit that we really can't bitch at the smokers themselves if we don't give them someplace for them to smoke.

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There is a place, right down the street from the Westin entrance, sheltered by the overpass, and there is a direct entrance to the convention center there. Why can't they smoke there?

They are sheltered from the rain, and they can directly access the convention center there.

I mean, if only the people staying at the Westin smoked in front of the building 5 feet away, and the rest went to the underpass, I think that would make it much easier for all of us. It's just a suggestion.

There is also the balcony at the convention center that I saw a number of people smoking at.

There are places for them to smoke, if they look for it.

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Translation:

I am mildly irritated by something and rather than just tolerate it, since there's a social stigma I will try and force everyone else to go where I want them to because then I do not have to deal with it.

I understand that you have a right to be comfortable too but nobody takes precedence over everyone else. There ARE designated smoking areas out front and making sure people stick to them would be helpful.

The loading dock is bad for a multitude of reasons, one of the biggest being it lacks any sort of ash tray and butts will go on the ground. That and there's not enough cover for the volume of smokers that would be using it. Not to mention the sidewalk traffic issues that will cause.

The balconies have no smoking signs on them. So that's a no-go.

Middle ground can be reached but banishing us to a crappy sidewalk near a loading dock is not it.

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I'm sorry if you were not aware that many people have allergies to cigarette smoke, and that for some of them the allergies are severe. If you didn't know before, you know now. It's not just an issue of convenience and comfort as some people try to make it out to be.

I do not know if we have the same place in mind, but your reasoning doesn't outweigh the good points of the location.

By being connected (or having an entrance to it at that location) to the convention center, that makes it a prime location for people to smoke without getting wet. It's not hard to get to while in the convention center either, neither is it far from the Westin. So there are no ash trays? If people made the right connections early on, ash trays could most likely be placed there, or maybe even a series of them down the walk-way. That really is a happy medium.

Also I'm not suggesting to banish everyone to that one location. When the number of smokers starts to build up at the Westin, I simply suggest that people opt to go elsewhere to smoke, so that we don't end up with another perpetual smoke cloud at the entrance, and what you call the loading dock was just one suggestion of another place.

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Right but you don't have the right to say that. I could just as easily say 'well then exit the hotel by going over the bridge and out the parking garage doors' because it's essentially the same thing.

How would -you- feel about -that-?

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Let's keep the comments from getting personal.

It IS a difficult subject, and slowly ostracizing smokers with new laws is making this all the more emotive.
For pure health & safety reasons people should not be congregating near the doors outside the hotel anyways - whether smoking or not. For those who are popping out for a cig, the ideal would be off to the left or right enough to give other hotel patrons space to enter and exit without being hit by a cloud of smoke.

But this applies to other people just hanging around outside too!

Darkclaw T Wolf Esq.

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Quote:
Right but you don't have the right to say that. I could just as easily say 'well then exit the hotel by going over the bridge and out the parking garage doors' because it's essentially the same thing.

How would -you- feel about -that-?

I think smokers keep forgetting something. We have every right to tell you to take your bad habit elsewhere. We have a right to breathe the best air that is available in the immediate area, you do NOT have the right to cover us in a fog of disgusting and harmful air.

Smokers are burning and inhaling a mix of poisonous gases that kill them a little bit more each day. Forget allergies, this stuff is semi-lethal and if it weren't "grandfathered" in before proper laws could be set in place, it'd be outright illegal. Now imagine that when smoker's collect and create a cloud of this stuff that other people have to walk through.

And the thought of telling other people to simply "deal with it" as they walk through this foul-smelling cloud of poisonous gas is absurd in the utmost.

The smell of cigarette smoke can stick in your nose too. Too many times I've had to snort some water just to get that awful scent out of my nose. And it sticks to your clothing too so it can follow you around all day!

To be fair, yes I know it's an addiction that you [in reference to the general smoking public] can't control. Nicotine gets into your brain, screws it up and you're never quite the same ever again. I'm very sorry for your problem; however each year they are coming out with better treatments for it. Hopefully someday we can get rid of the problem entirely.

To be blunt however, it's an addiction that you [smoking public] started yourself so I don't see why I should have to give you any leeway for where you can express your bad habit. I didn't make you start smoking, so why should I be punished for your decision to do so? It's depressing enough to watch you kill yourselves a bit more each day, but it's outright rude and arrogant to tell us that you have any right to subject us to it simply because there's so many of you.

And the reason laws get set in place that ban smoking in public areas is because smokers in general tend to abuse the *privilege* of smoking and it interferes with other people's *right* to breathe. If everyone took their bad habit where non-smokers couldn't smell it in the first place, we wouldn't need the laws in the first place.

-There is no truth

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I echo the above sentiment most heartily.

Second-hand smoke has also been found to be *worse* for people than what smokers are breathing themselves. It's not something we should just have to "deal with." It is not a momentary inconvenience. I used to live in Nevada and whenever we went out to dinner at a nice hotel restaurant I would have to hold my breath to walk through the casino portion, yet despite having spent only about a minute or two walking through the area where people were smoking, I would spend the rest of the night with that godawful smell clinging to my clothes and hair. It is something I thus try to avoid whenever possible. Sticking out tongue

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Cite your research.

There's a single study by the EPA, I believe, that is cited in 99% of the literature regarding second-hand smoke dangers to non-smokers. This is the single study out of the hundreds that have been done that they quote as evidence of a second-hand smoke risk.

And guess what.

That report, too, says there is no conclusive evidence of any danger to non-smokers from second-hand smoke. And this is after completely fudging with the data to get the answer they wanted. They -cheated- and they still were not able to prove it. The logical conclusion was to claim the report said one thing while it actually said another knowing that most Americans would not bother going to read it.

Anti-smoking lobbyists are among the scuzziest scumbags alive, right there next to the folks who run the cigarette companies (based solely on that lying about addiction thing.)

You should read this, because all those non-smoking ads are based on conclusions claimed to be made from from this study's results: http://www.davehitt.com/facts/epa.html

Plz don't bring science into it unless you're willing to back it up, and this anti-smoking political agenda bugs me greatly. <3

All the rest of your complaints simply come down to a matter of comfort and convenience, and by saying that we're the ones who need to put up with ridiculous rules you're saying that essentially based on an arbitrary choice you made somewhere along the line, your rights supersede ours* and thereby you are somehow a greater human being than us. How would you feel if smokers were in the majority and we decided to enact a rule that said anyone who has a problem walk around to the back of the hotel and enter through the loading dock?

Not too good.

Listen - I understand your position? But you can't send us off to some far corner like we deserve to be hidden. We're people, too, and you've got just as much a right to mess with where we stand as we do to you - which would be about none. I always kept far from the direct path of the doors but under the awning, and saw others do it, too. Trying to impose some sort of large ban on smoking or push us off into a place removed from the hotel almost completely because a few jerks were right up in your face is not the right way to resolve this.

And in response to one last thing?

Quote:
Forget allergies, this stuff is semi-lethal and if it weren't "grandfathered" in before proper laws could be set in place, it'd be outright illegal.

Not true at all. There have been plenty of pushes for nationwide smoking bans but the thing is that we have a right to do it. They are not constitutional. Plenty of things legal before were 'outlawed' because they were deemed 'dangerous' - opium, for example. And don't forget prohibition. Awh man, what a joke that was. Statements like the above are straight dangerous.

Quote:
The smell of cigarette smoke can stick in your nose too. Too many times I've had to snort some water just to get that awful scent out of my nose. And it sticks to your clothing too so it can follow you around all day!

Your problem seems to be one of inconvenience, and that's a much different thing. I'm not saying it's not important, just some extreme measure like pushing us off into the middle of nowhere is not the solution. Keep smoking to the designated areas in front of the hotel and everything will be cool. I don't think a single smoker would raise issue with the fifteen feet from the door rule being more strongly enforced. But anything more is a bit insane.

* It is a right - it falls under 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' Those who say it's a privilege would best read the constitution because most things you want to do, including things you are expressly prohibited from, are rights you have inherently as a human being and citizen of this country including many things I don't agree with - gun ownership, for example. And there IS a direct, researched correlation between gun ownership and the death of people not involved in owning the gun, unlike cigarette smoke.

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Personally I think this thread has gotten out of hand. We aren't talking about locking folks into an airplane or bar (which is where the controversy over second hand smoke started) we're talking about people smoking outdoors 15 feet from the entrance in accordance with the rules. If people were not following those rules there's a process in place to resolve that which we've addressed, so at this point all I see here is an anti-smoking crusade.

Anthrocon has 3,300+ attendees, and because of that we have a great deal of diversity in our membership. Segregating our community because some of them have a habit you don't approve of is not a good idea. I've managed to stay friends with many people who smoke for years, despite being a non-smoker myself who suffered similarly when my friends would light up (finding it harder to breath, etc). My point is, we can exist side by side, it's not going to kill anybody (except maybe the smokers!), so let's try to be reasonable when looking for a comprimise on touchy subjects like this. The key word here is comprimise.

Steve Hopps aka "Simba Lion"
Anthrocon 2008 A/V Director
http://www.anthrocon.org/
E-Mail: smblion@anthrocon.org

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SimbaLion, nobody in particular.

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When I went out to smoke, I always went far off to the sides since there was never anybody there, they were all crowded in front of the revolving door >.<

I didn't appreciate having to wade though a crowd of people just to get in the building, never mind those who do not share in our particular vice. As stated above, common sense...is not so common.

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Heh, I didn't even notice the smoke.

I'm not a smoker at all, but working in a lab with horrid-smelling chemicals and stinky mouse cages has upped my tolerance for stench quite a bit these days. It takes alot more than it used to to trigger the 'bleh' response. Sticking out tongue

But still, courtesy would be nice for everyone else who doesn't have my built-up resistance to unusual odors.

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The smoking rarely bother's me, it's just the fact there was a crowd next to the Turnstiles which made it difficult to enter and exit in costume and out even after repeating "Excuse me" 50 times.

But Smoking in front of the entrance (or inside) goes against the Smoking Initiative, and it is common curtosey. Plus, blocking the Turnstile entrance goes against the Fire Code. There were a few places away from the door where people could smoke and still be close to the door. There was the little garden area for example. My friends who are smokers were using that place, and there was another area that was away from the door that people could stand and smoke.

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You know - I think I see an opportunity here...

The problem with today's public health and legislative climate is that places which didn't have to provide separate accomodation for the smoking patron, now suddenly find that they must - at some considerable expense - provide separate facilities, or face moving their smoking patrons out the door...and possibly into the establishment down the street, which did make the effort and expense to provide both clean air & smoke-filled facilities.

In most modern establishments, this requires major "retrofitting" of walls, barriers, partitions, and completely separate air circulation systems. This is both narrow-sighted and actually forgets a portion of our past.

I don't believe that anyone today would design a building, or a portion of one, for separate smoking and non-smoking clientele, but public buildings, particularly establishments which catered to gentlemen and ladies, would have separate, after-meal salons and lounges; typically after the meal the men would retire to the "club lounge", to smoke and savor a snifter of brandy or a glass of sherry, in a room which had been paneled in aromatic woods and smelled much like a humidor or tobacconists' shop; it is odd, but many people, including myself, whose throats immediately clench up and eyes water at the first hint of cigarette smoke, can not only tolerate, but enjoy all the rich scents of a tobacco shop - the asembled racks of cigars, the cans and pouches of pipe tobacco - even the no-doubt unhealthy smell of zippo lighter fluid, has a certain masculine genteel aroma, mixed with that mahogany or other aromatic wood, and red or green leather stuffed chairs and divans.

Hotels had these - as did fine eating establishments, at one time. Even the more classy irish pubs in Boston and New York (and probably Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and certainly Chicago).

But as the ages, lifestyles, and architectural vogues changed, these salons and smoking lounges became wasteful anachronisms. I attribute this to the gradual adoption of the cigarette, particularly the "store-bought", pre-made mass-produced cigarette, which supplanted cigars and pipes in ever increasing sales after WWI. Sone EVERYBODY (of legal age) smoked, men and women; EVERY public space had ashtrays, even hospitals, even schools (for the use of faculty only, of course!), and the idea of a distinct, separate place to go and enjoy a "smoke" started to look archaic, wasteful; and this pretty much paralleled the growth and consumption of cigarettes, until people were no longer really conscious of making the effort, or enjoying the opportunity, to indulge in a smoke. People smoked whenever and wherever they wished, and did it without actually wishing to, sort of an automatic reflex.

And now, times have changed. Cigarette smoke, indeed any use of any tobacco product, is now understood to present a health hazard, even the tobacco companies now acknowledge this; how much that hazard translates from the personal user to those around him, or to the general impact on the costs to public health and society in general, not to mention time, productivity, and discretionary income consumed by this practice, will be a matter of contentious public debate (mostly, wilful ignorance and denial, vs. a certain degree of good ole' self-righteous American Puritanism) for some time.

But there is a solution - we can have our cake, and eat it, too - if we go back to facilities designed from the foundation up to accomodate a smoking public, incorporating their desires from the beginning while things can be done in both an affordable and satisfactory, even attractive manner, while keeping the bulk of public facilities and accomodations, smoke-free.

Smokers should NOT be shunted off into the first semi-vacant Gulag that presents itself, actually plan an area that can be both open to the outside air, yet sheltered from wind and rain, and has a reasonable chance at a suitable temperature (heat in winter, at least shade and perhaps cool breeze or misting in high summer). Think of an out-door biergarten, under a ramada, only the primary point of use will be FOR SMOKERS. Ideally, this could be a space set up on a terrace above street level, to restrict street access - you would have to go through the hotel - and adjacent to the restaurant and bar, to facilitate food or beverage service, or at least a window and counter where food or drink orders can be placed. If access is restricted so that you have to go past the cash register /matre'd station, one could even bring back a tradition lost in the 1950's - the Cigarette Girl, wandering among the tables with a tray of common and premium brands of cigarettes for sale, with matches; or have a small counter with a cash register, with an attendant who can sell you cigars, cigarettes, after-smoke mints, that sort of thing.

Expensive to staff? If there are as many smokers still out there that I believe there are - and if there is a place not only designated to smoke in, but actually designed for that exclusive purpose, and with the comfort and convenience of the smokers taken into account and even catered to, the place would be FULL!

To get back to the idea of a "Smoker's Club Lounge", for a moment - it MAY be that such a facility might have to be used EXCLUSIVELY for that purpose - it couldn't be an alternative to the bar or the restaurant, because then it would BE a bar or restaurant, and there would have to be "separate facilities" for smoking and non-smoking; but if some accomodation in the laws and statutes is written, so that the PRIMARY PURPOSE of the lounge is SMOKING - that is what you are there for - and serving of that snifter of brandy or that glass of port is simply incidental to that purpose - then we might see a resurgence in civility between those which smoke, and those which do not.

...And it certainly would beat having to huddle against the building by the door in all weather, or having to run a gauntlet of smokers and a path strewn with cigarette butts.

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A return to better support of smokers in publicly-accessible accommodations is not in the cards.

Hotel industry eyes extended smoking bans:

Given the impact of smoking on non-smoking guests and workers, the move to ban smoking in hotels is a logical next step, according to Cynthia Hallett, executive director of non-smokers' group.

“The market demand for smoke-free rooms is skyrocketing — both in terms of patron satisfaction and employees’ health,” she said.

Westin said it made the decision based on guest surveys showing that 92 percent asked for non-smoking rooms and 80 percent said they prefer keeping dining and other common areas smoke-free. The company acknowledged that it may lose some business at the outset but said it expects to make it up with new customers who prefer the policy.

[...]

As the number of smokers has declined over the years, hotels have been cutting back on the number of rooms set aside for smokers, according to a 2003 study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Some hotels have chosen to eliminate those smoking rooms to cater to the majority of their guests who don’t smoke.

And this isn't just the Westin, or the hotel industry; everyone is making this kind of calculus. The only businesses I've seen that continue to cater to smokers as more than an afterthought are small bar owners, who by some trick of the law or architecture have escaped the onus of categorical anti-smoking statutes.

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Quote:
Westin said it made the decision based on guest surveys showing that 92 percent asked for non-smoking rooms and 80 percent said they prefer keeping dining and other common areas smoke-free.

Oh, make no mistake - I INSIST on a "Non-Smoking" room, and want the same for the Dining, Bar, and Common Areas as well. In fact I believe that ALL the guest rooms in a hotel should be non-smoking, and I believe that this is the Law in California now. It is also the law on AmTrak trains.

No, what I suggest is, if you tell smokers that they cannot some here, here, and over here as well, the logical question they have is "Alright - where CAN we smoke?"

A little thought put into it would provide you a lounge area where they CAN go for a smoke - an area EXCLUSIVELY for smokers, not a "common area", with it pretty much understood that while any guest may enter the facility, there is no reason to, except to smoke, or spend time with someone who IS engaged in smoking. It is a Purpose-Dedicated room or area, in no way interfering with any other operation or service of the Hotel. It should provide a degree of comfort for the smokers, so that they are inclined to use it rather than trying to sneak a cigarette in their rooms or in the fire-escape. If it requires staffing, I am positive that there are hospitality services trained people who themselves smoke, and would be willing to take on "specialised" duty in these Lounges.

Make it comfortable enough, conducive to the mood and atmosphere which makes smoking a pleasure rather than something to fend off a craving for a few hours, and people will make a conscious decision to patronise such places - and it may even be possible to garner extra income exclusively from the use of these rooms. That is where I see an opportunity.

Ideally - we can dispense with Smoking, eliminating the consumption of Tobacco Product and its production and sale. But that will not only take time, but a determined effort has been made, and will continue to be made, to fight it. People who smoke feel more strongly about this than the NRA folks feel about Gun Rights. While working on the long-term goal of elimination of Tobacco Use from our culture, it IS possible to come to some accomodation with those still using it, until they either can quit, or die.

...Ah, but this is just my feeling on the matter; there is nothing AnthroCon can do to remedy the situation at our hotel, I'm just saying that a SLIGHT change in public attitude might yield an improved lot for all of us, smokers and non-smokers alike. It is truly up to the smokers themselves to suggest or implement such ideas as this one - but not to AnthroCon; at our level, all that can be done is that we try to be civil to each other, and remember the two most important commandments in Fandom:

Thou shalt NOT become an annoyance to thy brethren fans.

Thou shalt NOT become too easily annoyed with thy brethren fans.

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But forces are arrayed against even that degree of accomodation:

  • A hotel (or other business) would be reluctant to dedicate a significant amount of space for the exclusive use of smokers, when the same space could be used to accommodate even more non-smokers (who outnumber the smokers anyway).
  • Perhaps there are hospitality-trained staff who themselves smoke. But smokers tend to be more expensive to health-insurance regimes, and a lot of the anti-smoking pressure has come from insurance companies looking to reduce their risk, and employers with an eye to expenses. I don't think the Westin would refuse to hire a smoker, but I think they'd be leery of having a position that all but requires one to take in the negative health effects of the habit. This can be a rather contentious issue, to be sure.

To touch back on the topic, I could imagine the Westin providing a better solution for the smokers that crowded the area just outside the main entrance. But I think it's certain that the area would be unstaffed, and that the provision would be made primarily for the benefit of the non-smokers---eliminating the proximity that is at issue here.

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ok I wanna touch a few points here

I did see people outside of the exit/entrance to the hotel smoking, I didn't say a thing, but I should have. I myself stayed over where you should have smoked, or grabbed me a smoke when I went out to eat.

"Smoking slowly kills you"
What doesn't kill you these days? I say pick your poison and go with it.

Also to the point of that same topic, I'll say this buy my medicine or pay for therapy/treatment for me and I'll quit smoking (I have no medical insurance and not real solid income). I'm bipolar (majorly on the depressed side of it) Have a small anxity disorder, blah blah blah and the nicotine helps settled them down.

Oh I spouse you could say hey theirs programs out there to help .. well I've talked to most of these "programs" and only found one at this point willing to help me. (Even the DHHR turned me away)

So I said my piece, pretty much, but I wouldn't mind if there was a better place to have a smoke.

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I absolutely cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke. It's tied at first with the smell of "LOL HAY I HAVEN'T SHOWERED FOR THREE MONTHS.", with cat urine coming in at 2nd.

Granted, it's my personal opinion. I dealt with it for years because my mother smoked, and I can't tell you the amount of times I got an odd look at school because that stuff was stuck in my clothing.

Other than that, I've got no ideas. Just another non-smoker tossing in his dislike of cigarette smoke, t'sall.

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I'd say this thread has gotten out of hand as well.

Simply put, this is not an Anthrocon policy issue, rather a facility issue. The Westin and the Convention Center have their own specific rules and requirements concerning smoking areas that work in concert with any local laws or statutes. Attendees are expected to abide by them, period. Our security staff can help to make certain our attendees are abiding by these rules, but it's not the convention's place to change them.

If the hotel or the convention center determine there is a hazard from crowd congregation at any position on their property, they have the ability to tell people to move regardless of what you are doing. (smoking, loitering, waiting for a taxi, breakdancing or whatever.)

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