August 2, 2011
NO-SMOKING ROOMS IN CONNECTICUT HOTELS AND MOTELS
By: John Kasprak, Senior Attorney
You asked for information on Connecticut law concerning smoking in hotels and motels. You are also interested in legislation addressing molds, allergens, and other health-related conditions in such lodging.
SMOKING IN LODGING ESTABLISHMENTS
In Connecticut, the operator of a hotel, motel, or similar lodging may allow guests to smoke in not more than 25% of the rooms offered as accommodations; thus 75% of the rooms must be nonsmoking (CGS § 19a-342(c)). The only states that have a 100% ban on smoking in hotel and motel rooms are Michigan and Wisconsin. Connecticut is similar to most states that have enacted prohibitions in requiring at least 75% of the rooms to be nonsmoking (see attached information).
ALLERGENS AND OTHER HEALTH-RELATED ISSUES IN LODGING
Legislation was introduced in both the 2009 and 2010 sessions in Connecticut addressing allergens in hotel and motel rooms. Proposed HB 5065 of the 2009 session would have created incentives for the construction or conversion of 10% or greater of the rooms of a lodging establishment to a design that would eliminate at least 98% of indoor allergens. This would have included installing wood or tile floors, air conditioning with HEPA filters, and allergen-proof bedding. The bill was referred to the Public Health Committee but did not receive a public hearing.
HB 5005 of the 2010 session would have given a business tax credit to hotels, motels, inns and other lodging establishments that have green, allergy-free rooms for their guests. Under the bill, a “green, allergy-free room” must: (1) be cleaned and maintained only with green, natural nontoxic cleaning products; (2) contain tile or wood flooring with no carpeting; (3) have drapes or curtains made of synthetic, nonfabric materials; (4) use air conditioning with HEPA air filters; (5) have mattresses and pillows covered in nonallergenic materials; (6) have no cigarette smoke; and (7) have no pets and pet dander.
This bill had a hearing in the Environment Committee and was favorably reported to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee where it died.