February 9, 2011

Today ANR has given a national award to Avis Budget Group, which is the owner of the Avis and Budget rental car brands, for the company’s smokefree policy covering their rental cars in the U.S., Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

This is the first fleet-wide smokefree rental car policy to be enforced with a $250 cleaning fee. Avis Budget Group management described the move as a sound business decision, citing residual secondhand smoke in their cars as their number one customer complaint.

Additionally, Avis Budget Group recently announced that all their facilities and properties will be 100% smokefree starting in April 2011. They have also ramped up efforts to help their employees quit smoking.

“It’s great that this company has stepped up as a leader and has set a positive example for other businesses to follow,” said Cynthia Hallett, Executive Director of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. “Today a number of their front-line employees said that they experience less exposure to secondhand and thirdhand smoke, thanks to the new smokefree policy.”

Please show your support by sending a brief email of thanks and congratulations to: pr@avisbudget.com.

See below for the press release from today’s “National Smoke-Free Business Award” event.



PARSIPPANY, N.J., February 9, 2011 – Avis Budget Group, Inc. today received the “National Smoke-Free Business Award” from Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, a U.S.-based nonsmokers’ rights group, in recognition of Avis Budget Group’s decision to become the first rental car company to offer a 100 percent smoke-free fleet by banning smoking in Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car vehicles in the United States and Canada.

“A smoke-free vehicle was the top ‘special request’ of our customers,” said Larry De Shon, executive vice president of operations at Avis Budget Group. “Prohibiting smoking in our vehicles ensures that Avis and Budget customers receive a fresh-smelling and clean vehicle whenever they rent with us. The recognition from Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights is an honor we proudly accept. We are also pleased to see that others in our industry have subsequently chosen to follow our lead.”

In late 2009, Avis Budget Group responded to customer feedback and instituted a smoke-free policy in its vehicles for customers and employees alike. The Company also instituted a smoke-free policy for all employees and contractors who drive its vehicles, and has made all of its offices and rental location facilities 100 percent smoke-free as well, effective April 1, 2011.

“Thanks to this move by Avis Budget Group, nonsmokers are breathing easier while traveling and other car rental companies are now beginning to follow suit with similar policies,” said Cynthia Hallett, executive director at Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. “We are grateful to Avis Budget Group for their leadership on this important issue.”

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