Princess Cruise Lines to ban smoking in its staterooms, balconies, effective Jan. 16; smokers are small minority of cruise passengers, studies show

WASHINGTON , January 13, 2012 (press release) – Princess Cruise Lines will ban smoking in its staterooms and balconies starting Monday. While more cruise lines are banning cigarettes, policies on e-cigarettes vary among the cruise lines, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

“Our consumer studies now show that smokers are a small minority of our passengers, and that the large majority of passengers value having their primary living space onboard smoke-free,” Princess Executive Vice President Jan Swartz said in a statement when the policy was announced last summer.

Starting on Sunday, Holland America will also ban smoking in staterooms. In August, Norwegian Cruise Lines announced a ban on smoking in staterooms on all of its 11 ships starting in 2012. The company said the move comes in response to passengers’ complaints about the smoky smell in staterooms, which is difficult to remove. Passengers who violate the new rule will be charged a $250 cleaning fee.

Carnival Cruise Lines banned smoking in all cabins starting last December 1.

Some cruise lines allow e-cigarettes anywhere on the ship, while others consider them to be the same as regular cigarettes. Princess will allow e-cigarettes in staterooms and balconies. Carnival and Norwegian restrict e-cigarettes to designated smoking areas.

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