Avis Budget Group, Inc. received the "National Smoke-Free Business Award" from Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, a U.S.-based nonsmokers' rights group, in recognition of its decision to become the first rental car company to offer a 100 percent smoke-free fleet. The company banned 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," according to 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."
In late 2009, Avis Budget Group responded to customer feedback and instituted the smoke-free policy in its vehicles for customers, employees, and contractors who drive its vehicles. The company also 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," according to Cynthia Hallett, executive director at Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights. "We are grateful to Avis Budget Group for their leadership on this important issue."