Gearing up for your next vacation?
As a reminder when booking travel, nothing can ruin a hotel stay quite like the nuisance and health hazard of secondhand smoke. We recognize significant progress to date with some major hotel brands having gone smokefree, but there’s still a long way to go before protection from secondhand smoke is guaranteed anywhere you stay in the U.S. ANR has been a leader in support of smokefree hotels for decades – for the health and enjoyment of the public and the hospitality workforce.
What you can do as a traveler:
- When traveling for work or leisure, take your business to 100% smokefree hotels whenever possible and let them know that’s why you are there. If you aren’t sure, call ahead to check. When picking sites for meetings or group stays, please choose smokefree venues. You have a powerful voice as a customer.
- Speak up for 100% smokefree air in any hotel surveys and comment cards, or provide an online travel review on Trip Advisor, Yelp, Instagram, or any place your share your story on social media. If secondhand smoke ruined your visit, businesses (and other customers) will appreciate hearing your feedback.
Advocacy Pro Tip: Providing your feedback in writing sends an important message to the business as well as other customers about your experience.
For years, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (a trade group for hotels), was successfully targeted and co-opted by tobacco companies in various schemes such as the Philip Morris Options program – designed to undermine smokefree protections and keep smoking indoors. This helped Big Tobacco maximize cigarette consumption, but it didn’t help hotels so much. It led to unnecessary costs for cleaning and installing ineffective ventilation systems, customer complaints, workers sickened by secondhand smoke, and lost business for meetings and hotel stays. All of which could have been prevented by simply adopting a smokefree indoor air policy.
Things started to change with Westin’s brand-wide smokefree policy in 2006. Westin is now part of Marriott, which has an industry-leading smokefree policy across all its brands in the U.S. They are a leader for corporate social responsibility on the issue of secondhand smoke. We also recognize that Courtyard Marriott extends its no-smoking policy to its balconies.
Hotel chains that are NOT smokefree
Hilton has announced a 100% smokefree indoor air policy for two of its brands: Tru and Canopy. Unfortunately, Hilton has not extended smokefree air to all its other brands including DoubleTree and Embassy Suites. Wyndham has a smokefree policy for several of its brands, but it too has not extended the policy to its full portfolio. InterContinental Group claims to provide a “safe and healthy work environment,” but still does not even have a single brand-wide smokefree policy. Its brands include Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza. Even InterContinental’s wellness hotel brand Next has smoking areas. Similarly, Hyatt claims to support safe workplaces, but is a corporate laggard when it comes to the basic step of ensuring safe smokefree air for its workforce and customers.
We urge hotel companies to adopt strong consistent smokefree polices across all their brands and properties, including a smokefree buffer zone by entrances. It’s important because it saves lives. Today, 87% of U.S. adults are nonsmokers. Hundreds of communities, including New Orleans and Indianapolis, now require all hotels to be 100% smokefree for the health of guests and the city’s hospitality workforce. See our list.
Don’t forget our tip! Provide written feedback on comment cards or online to let hotels know how you feel. Let us know about your experiences too.