Army to ban smoking at lodging facilities worldwide
January 7, 2005
STUTTGART, Germany — Guests at Army lodging facilities who want to smoke will soon have to go outside to do so.
Smoking rooms are being phased out at Army lodging worldwide, and, as of March 1, smoking will not be permitted inside Army hotels or other billeting. The decision was made in November by the Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s board of directors.
“The trend within the Department of Defense was to discourage smoking for health reasons,” said Peter Isaacs, chief operating officer for the Army’s Community and Family Support Center in Washington, D.C.
“To stay in concert with the larger goals of the department, the board decided it should prohibit smoking [at Army lodging].”
The smoking ban applies to hotels and billeting used mostly for official business, such as the Kelley Hotel and Swabian Inn in Stuttgart. It also applies to recreational lodging such as the new Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch.
Guests would be permitted to smoke on their rooms’ patio or balcony, or on the garden patios included with some rooms at Army lodging in Hawaii, Isaacs said.
Smoking has not been permitted at Air Force guest rooms and common areas since 2001, according to Wolfgang R. Hofmann, a spokesman for U.S. Air Forces in Europe in Ramstein. Temporary-living facilities, where airmen stay before they find permanent living quarters at their new duty station, are also smoke-free.
The Air Force will soon start charging a standard $150 cleaning fee for guests who violate lodging rules by smoking in their rooms, Hofmann said. Similar fees are already in place at some Air Force billeting.
In the Navy, 20 percent of bachelors’ quarters rooms are set aside for smokers, according to Lt. Allie Freeman, a spokeswoman at Naval Station Rota, Spain.
“There are no plans to change that,” Freeman said, as long as the smoking rooms do not have shared ventilation, heating or air conditioning with nonsmoking rooms.
She said the Navy Lodge at Rota is completely nonsmoking, but she did not know the smoking policy for Navy lodges worldwide.
The 6th Area Support Group, which includes Stuttgart and Garmisch, announced several weeks ago that its lodging facilities would go smoke-free by Jan. 31.
“We’ve been discussing for over a year on how we were going to do it,” said Joe Strobel, the 6th ASG’s lodging manager. “This is the best season to do it because it’s the slow season.”
Strobel said long-term guests who smoke won’t be forced to stop smoking in their rooms on Jan. 31. They can continue smoking in their rooms until they check out.