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The availability of smoking-permitted accommodations from Airbnb in 12 Canadian cities
  1. Ryan David Kennedy1,2,
  2. Ornell Douglas1,
  3. Lindsay Stehouwer1,
  4. Jackie Dawson3
  1. 1 Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
  2. 2 Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  3. 3 Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Ryan David Kennedy, Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2213 McElderry Street, 4th floor, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; rdkennedy{at}jhu.edu

Abstract

Purpose Airbnb is a web-based peer-to-peer (P2P) service that enables potential hosts and guests to broker accommodations in private homes as an alternative to traditional hotels. The hospitality sector has increasingly gone smoke-free over the last decade. This study identified the availability and cost of smoking-permitted accommodations identified on Airbnb.

Methods The study team searched for Airbnb accommodations in 12 Canadian cities across each of Canada’s 10 provinces. Searches included availability for a single person for a private room, or double occupancy for an entire home/apartment; searches were for 1-night and 1-week stays.

Results Cities across Canada, including Regina, Fredericton and Charlottetown, had no smoking-permitted accommodations available for the searches conducted. The proportion of private rooms available for one night that permitted smoking ranged from 2% in Calgary, 4% in Winnipeg and St. John’s, 10% in Halifax and Victoria, 18% in Toronto, 45% in Vancouver and 69% in Montréal. The average cost for a private room for one night in Vancouver was $128, while the cost for a private room that permits smoking was $62; however, in other markets prices were more similar.

Discussion Across Canada, there is a wide range of smoking-permitted accommodations available through Airbnb. In some markets, smoking-permitted accommodation may be significantly less expensive than smoke-free options. As hotel chains increasingly go smoke-free, it is possible that the marketplace will respond with offerings to fulfil consumer demand. As policy makers consider how to regulate P2P services like Airbnb, public health considerations should be included.

  • Secondhand smoke
  • Public policy
  • Prevention
  • Denormalization
  • Social marketing

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