Nothing can ruin your dream cruise ship vacation like constant exposure to the health hazards of secondhand smoke.  Secondhand smoke is a Group A Carcinogen with no safe level of exposure, so it’s the last thing nonsmokers want to be exposed to on a vacation that you’ve saved and planned for.

Because cruise ships travel in international waters, they aren’t subject to U.S. state smokefree laws and therefore most cruise lines allow smoking on balconies, in casinos, in cigar lounges, cabins, and in designated outdoor areas. This makes for an unhealthy experience for nonsmokers and a harmful work environment for the crew.

But what can be done? Here are five ways to advocate for smokefree policies for cruise lines:

  1. Cruise lines pay close attention to their social media presence. By posting directly to their Facebook pages, you can get the message out quickly about how unhappy you are that you and your family were exposed to secondhand smoke on the trip. Here are just a few of the cruise line pages on Facebook:

Norwegian Cruise Line
Princess Cruises
Carnival Cruise Line
Royal Caribbean International
Disney Cruise Line
Celebrity Cruises

  1. Post a review about being involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke on TripAdvisor and Yelp. Be sure to call out the specific cruise line.
  2. If you have a Twitter account, tweet about your negative experience being exposed to secondhand smoke and call out the cruise line by name.
  3. During the cruise, make a point to talk to the crew each day about being exposed to the health hazards of secondhand smoke.  You can let them know that 87.1% of U.S. citizens are nonsmokers and that a few people smoking can ruin the experience for everyone.
  4. And finally, register an official complaint with the cruise line. Let them know that the experience would have been enjoyable if it weren’t for the cigarette smoke exposure and that you won’t go back until the air is clear of toxins from secondhand smoke.  Ask the cruise line to implement a completely smokefree environment policy for the health of passengers and crew.