Washington-based hotel giant Marriott International announced today that all of its lodging brands in the U.S. and Canada will become 100 percent smoke-free beginning in September. The new policy covers more than 2,300 hotels and corporate apartments and nearly 400,000 guest rooms under the Marriott, JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites and Marriott ExecuStay brands.
The new policy includes all guest rooms, restaurants, lounges, meeting rooms, public spaces and employee work areas, the company said. At present, more than 90 percent of Marriott guest rooms are already nonsmoking, and smoking is prohibited in many public spaces due to local laws.
“Creating a smoke-free environment demonstrates a new level of service and care for our guests and associates,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International. “Our family of brands is united on this important health issue, and we anticipate very positive customer feedback.” The company added that demand for nonsmoking rooms continues to rise with new information from the U.S. Surgeon General on the hazards of secondary smoke.