As the Food and Drug Administration kicks off a new $115 million anti-smoking campaign aimed at telling young people why they shouldn't pick up the habit, a new online booking tool has rolled out to help smokers find hotel rooms where it's OK to light up.
Lake Forest, Calif.-based Smoketels.com claims to have a database of more than 250,000 smoking-allowed hotel rooms in the United States and around the globe and plans to serve what founder and smoker Shawn Bradley describes as the "underserved demographic" of travelers seeking smoker-friendly hotels.
"On existing online travel reservation sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia you have to click on the hotel and then look to see if there might be any smoking rooms," said Bradley. "That gets very confusing and frustrating. Our inventory only includes hotels where smoking rooms are available."
That inventory doesn't include the increasing number of independent and chain hotels, such as Marriott and Starwood, which have made all their U.S. properties 100 percent smoke-free. "But many Days Inn and Quality Inn properties—and many hotels in the South, where there are still many heavy smokers—will generally have smoking rooms available," said Bradley.