A recent announcement by Carnival Cruise Lines that smoking will be restricted in guest rooms shows just how far the issue has to go. For cruise companies, smoking is generally still allowed in indoor air areas like casinos or bars, which results in significant exposure to secondhand smoke for cruise staff and vacationers. While not allowing smoking in guest quarters is a good step, nonsmokers shouldn’t have to be exposed to toxic smoke anywhere on board. Even when smoking is limited to deck areas, this can still result in a lot of smoke drifting back into shared patio areas and windows depending on wind conditions.

When cruise ships go into international waters, they are not subject to state or local smokefree workplace laws. Because of this, cruise lines must take the lead in strengthening their smokefree policies for the health of their passengers and employees. This can only be brought about via shareholder and customer feedback.

You can help by speaking up for 100% smokefree cruise environments in your comment cards, social media, and online trip reviews (Trip Advisor, Yelp, etc.) Use your powerful customer voice to speak up for smokefree air in cruise ships’ bars, casinos, and other areas where workers and passengers are subject to drifting smoke. More than 87% of U.S. adults are nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke is a leading preventable cause of stroke, heart disease, cancer, and respiratory illness. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.