Hotel Owners, Managers, and Employees Quotes in Support of Smokefree Policies

February 14, 2017


Javier Rosenberg, President of the Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

"Over the years, hotels have had to adapt their smoking policies just like bars, restaurants and office buildings. We have received no negative feedback from guests on the move to smokefree. In fact, even our guests who smoke understand these new policies, and in turn, we make designated smoking areas available outside the hotel."

Quoted In:

Trejos, N., "No smoking is the norm at hotels," USA Today, February 13, 2017.


Steve Joyce, CEO, Choice Hotels

"Nobody wants a smoking room. The old school thinking was that (hotels) were accommodating a portion of their guests. But when you talk to smokers, they don't even want smoking rooms. This is better for everyone."

Quoted In:

Trejos, N., "No smoking is the norm at hotels," USA Today, February 13, 2017.


Kate Ashton, Brand Senior Vice President of Fullservice Brands, Wyndham Hotel Group

"We find many people's perception of smoking, regardless of whether it's an actual cigarette or an e-cigarette, tends to be the same. Once you smoke in a public space, other people are exposed to whatever you're putting into the air. Smokefree environments in the U.S. are not only widely accepted, they've become the expectation. Going smokefree in guest rooms creates significantly healthier surroundings where guests sleep and relax, and it also creates a cleaner room and extends the life of items like bedding, carpets and window coverings."

Quoted In:

Trejos, N., "No smoking is the norm at hotels," USA Today, February 13, 2017.


Tracy Hurilla, Edge Hotel, Lyons Fall, NY

The Edge Hotel in Lyons Fall, New York, implemented a smokefree policy for all rooms in August 2013, citing the costs of cleaning smoke-filled spaces and customer preferences as reasons. Owner Tracy Hurilla stated that, "If we only had smoking rooms left, we lost business. They would go elsewhere."

Quoted In:

Scanlon, C., "Lyons Falls motel The Edge goes smoke free," Watertown Daily Times, August 8, 2013.


Leonard Hoops, Head, Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, IN

Regarding a proposed smokefree ordinance: "When it comes to restaurants and bars, I think it catches us up with some of our competitive cities. And when it comes to hotel rooms, if they go 100% smoke-free, that would be a big competitive advantage because not many other cities, even ones with smoking bans, have that position."

Quoted In:

Milz, M., "Council fails to override mayor's smoking ban," WTHR.com, February 13, 2012.


Joe McInerney, President, American Hotel & Lodging Association

"We will continue to see either properties go entirely smoke-free or increase non-smoking rooms not only in the United States but around the world."

Quoted In:

Stoller, G., "More hotels go completely smoke-free: one of the last bastions for travelers who smoke their hotel rooms is disappearing rapidly," USA Today, February 17, 2011.


Lori Alexander, Spokesperson, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

"We think the trend will continue. As we see more and more travelers request non-smoking rooms, the demand for smoking rooms is dwindling."

Quoted In:

Stoller, G., "More hotels go completely smoke-free: one of the last bastions for travelers who smoke their hotel rooms is disappearing rapidly," USA Today, February 17, 2011.


Stephanie Steadman, Regional Director Sales & Marketing for the Mediterranean Inn, Seattle, WA

"You can't beat the fresh air in the Pacific Northwest, so besides being smoke-free, all guestrooms have windows that open as well as ceiling fans. Our target market is our guest we really listen to what they have to say and regarding this issue the overwhelming majority of people want a smoke-free environment. We find that by prohibiting smoking, we get less wear and tear on the furniture, carpeting, drapes and bedding. We can pass those savings on to our guests. Everyone - guests and employees alike feel healthy and are happier in a smoke free environment."

Quoted In:

FreshStay.com, "FreshStay.com," Hotel News Resource, February 8, 2011.


Kristi Warnecke, Executive Housekeeper, Best Western River North Hotel, Chicago, IL

"We care about the health and comfort of our guests and future guests. We went completely smoke free one year ago. It was important for us, because there are so many health risks associated with smoking. Our guests are thrilled we went smoke free. We have heard nothing but great comments and positive feedback."

Quoted In:

FreshStay.com, "FreshStay.com," Hotel News Resource, February 8, 2011.


Paul M. Stone, President and CEO, N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association

"The consensus is that this ban has had an overall positive effect on restaurants and hotels in North Carolina. It also has been very well received from the public."

Quoted In:

Ostendorf, J., "Smoke-free law seen as good for restaurant business in Asheville area, NC: more dining out after NC ban; study shows bar, eatery air quality up 89%," Asheville Citizen-Times, January 3, 2011.


Sharon Graese, General Manager, Best Western, Walla Walla, WA

"The law does have an exception for hotel rooms, but we had changed to smoke-free before the law went into effect. It's worked out really well for us. Especially around here, customers expect us to be smoke-free. We even have smokers who stay with us who say that if they don't smoke in their homes or offices, they won't smoke in the hotel rooms either."

Quoted In:

Burger, R. Janicke, D., "100% smoke-free hotels discuss non-smoking trends," ehotelier.com, June 24, 2010.


Dirk Ebener, CEO of Atlanta-based NuernbergMesse North America, which represents more than 100 trade shows globally

"There are a growing number of conventions in various sectors that definitely prefer a non-smoking city. A city's smoking policy says a lot about it. It speaks to cleanliness of the city, demonstrates the health awareness of the city, and calls attention to its overall progressiveness."

Quoted In:

Schoettle, A., "Officials: weak smoking ban hurts Indianapolis' hospitality efforts," Indianapolis Business Journal, February 27, 2010.


Jeff Sweet, President of the Greater Indianapolis Hotel and Lodging Association and General Manager of Hilton Indianapolis Hotel and Suites

"Our guests, quite frankly, are taken aback by the smoking in our city. There's no getting around it. It's starting to affect the city's image, and not in a good way. ... Bio and life sciences is a premium-rated business. There's a huge benefit to getting a foot in the door with that industry. Since that sector is growing rapidly, now is a critical time for this city to put its best foot forward with those organizations. In order to be perceived as being a more progressive city, we have to have a smoking ban."

Quoted In:

Schoettle, A., "Officials: weak smoking ban hurts Indianapolis' hospitality efforts," Indianapolis Business Journal, February 27, 2010.


Don Welsh, CEO Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association

"In many cases, the ordinances have been driven politically or solely due to the desires of local citizens. While I understand that, the desires of visitors who spend billions of dollars in our community every year have not been considered. When Paris passed their anti-smoking legislation 18 months ago, that set the tone globally. It's what people come to expect, and Indianapolis is being left behind. ... Many in the life sciences, bio and medical fields are vehemently against smoking in public places. I’m not sure it's always a show stopper, but it's certainly an unnecessary worry and concern that we shouldn't have. ... I understand civil liberties, but there's enough medical documentation to know smoke—firsthand or secondhand—is bad for you. Our current policy makes this city look not very progressive."

Quoted In:

Schoettle, A., "Officials: weak smoking ban hurts Indianapolis' hospitality efforts," Indianapolis Business Journal, February 27, 2010.


Joe McInerney, President of the American Hotel & Lodging Association

"Making a hotel smoke-free is the right thing to do because it protects guests and employees from secondhand smoke."

Quoted In:

Stoller, G., "More hotels go completely smoke-free," USA Today, November 18, 2008.


Leigh Hitz, Presdient, Magnolia Hotels, Denver, CO

"It's definitely a growing industry trend to eliminate smoking rooms, and we are pleased to have adopted a smoke-free policy."

Quoted In:

[n.a.], "Magnolia Hotels now smoke-free," Hotel & Motel Management, August 20, 2008.


Hoyt Harper II, Senior Vice President for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Four Points by Sheraton

"We are committed to the health and quality of life of our guests and associates and that includes providing a clean, smoke-free environment. Our core customers are road warriors who we know endure a rigorous travel schedule. At Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton we want to provide a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere that is healthy."

Quoted In:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts, "Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton Hotels go smoke-free: more than 300 hotels in the U.S., Canada and Caribbean to implement 100% smoke-free policy," Business Wire, February 11, 2008.


Linda Hirneise, Executive Director of the travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates

Regarding smokefree hotel policies: "What was once a differentiator is now expected by consumers. We saw this in branded premium beds and online check-in, check-out -- where one hotel introduced the concept and others followed. While guests of luxury hotels (Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, etc.) are most likely to prefer a nonsmoking environment, upscale hotels (Hilton, Westin, Marriott, etc.) have been quicker to adopt this policy."

Quoted In:

Wilkening, D., "No smoking' lamp is lit," Hotel Interactive, February 8, 2008.


Lynn Coletto, Director of sales and marketing, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Cleveland, OH

"It's very interesting what happened to the smoking lounge out front. We found a dramatic decrease in smokers, of which we had very few to begin with. We only had seven smoking rooms. As a result, people weren't using that lounge area, and we decided to disband it."

Quoted In:

Spector, H., "Whatever happened to the outdoor smoking lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel?," Cleveland Plain-Dealer, December 23, 2007.


David Lang, General Manager, Embassy Suites, Rogers, AR

"From our perspective, there’s been very little impact. It’s something that’s really become culturally expected now from our guests. Most of the larger markets have had smoking bans in place for a while, and we get quite a few people staying with us from Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. So this is nothing new to them. People just go outside, and they’re not put out by having to do so."

Quoted In:

Mores, J., "Smooth transition: restaurant owners, hotel managers say smoking ban is old hat now," Benton County Daily Record, December 23, 2007.


Erin Wallace, Operations Senior Vice President, Walt Disney World Resort

On making its Orlando, Florida, resort hotel rooms smokefree: "We make adjustments to our operations based on guest demand. This policy complements our efforts to provide our guests with the healthy living options they are requesting."

Quoted In:

[n.a.], "Walt Disney World bans smoking in resorts," Orlando Business Journal, May 1, 2007


Stephanie Dowling, Spokesperson, Westin Kierland Resort, AZ

On going smokefree: "We have not had any negative feedback from guests, and our numbers (of guests) have not declined in any way."

Quoted In:

Hogan, D., "Smoking law won't faze East Valley hoteliers," East Valley Tribune, May 1, 2007.



J.W. Marriott, Jr., Marriott International, Inc.

"...Last year, all of our hotels in North America became completely smoke-free - including guest rooms, public spaces and employee work areas - and the guests love it, according to our surveys. Even smokers tell us they hated to stay in a 'smoking' room and we tried hard for years to get the smell of stale smoke out, but couldn't. We figure that if we help keep our guests alive longer they'll have an opportunity to return."

Quoted In:

Marriott, Jr., J.W., "Remarks: Bear Stearns Consumer Conference," Hospitality Net, March 14, 2007.


Adam Gough, General Manager, Comfort Suites Davis in Davis, California

"Since going smoke free, I've been pleasantly surprised, not only have my regular smoking guests remained loyal, but for every potential smoking customer that chooses another hotel, we gain two non-smoking customers."

Quoted In:

[n.a.], "Choice Hotels Comfort Suites Brand to Go Smoke Free on May 1," Hospitality Net, March 13, 2007.


Massey Hejazi, Food Director, Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, PA

On voluntarily going smokefree: "Not only has it not hurt, it has increased our food sales. The lounge was one of our concerns. But I have actually people who eat there now who didn't before because of the smoke. We've received an excellent response."

Quoted In:

Pfister, B., "Restaurant smokeout boosting food sales," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 2, 2007.


Kimberly Kalkhoff, Spokesperson, Heartland Inns of America

"We've had less and less smoking rooms at our properties in recent years. We just kept running out of nonsmoking rooms and finally decided to step up and do this right."

Quoted In:

Harris, B., "Heartland hotels ban smoking from all premises: the Waterloo-based company says it is following a U.S. trend," Des Moines Register, June 15, 2006.


Barb Cullinan, Director of Operations, Heartland Inns of America

"Now guests can sleep and breathe easier in every room at every Heartland Inn. Our operating philosophy has always been 'do right' when it comes to our guests and this smoke-free policy is definitely the right thing to do for our guests' and employees' health and overall quality of life."

Quoted In:

Heartland Inns of America, LLC, "Heartland Inns to go smoke free: American Cancer Society applauds hotel chain's leadership," PRNewswire, June 14, 2006.


Bruce Smith, General Manager, Newport News Marriott at City Center, VA

"Properties world-wide, from intimate bed and breakfasts to major international hotel brands are going smoke-free because it makes good sense. With today's emphasis on wellness and healthy lifestyles, we want to make sure our hotel provides a fresh, healthy environment for our guests and associates."

Quoted In:

Newport News Marriott at City Center, "Take a deep breath in ... out. Again. There's something din the air at New Virginia Marriott," PRNewswire, June 12, 2006.


Fran Mustert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Resorts, owner of Camelot by the Sea, SC

"We felt it was not enough to simply limit the number of smoking rooms, or designate smoking areas. We believe the best experience for our guests is a luxury resort that is completely smoke-free."

Quoted In:

[n.a.], "Resort bans smoking everywhere," Island Packet Online, February 9, 2006.


Paul Mazurowski, Vice president of food and beverage, Reno Hilton, NV

On the decision to make six of the hotel's restaurants smokefree: "We're listening to our customers and responding to what they want with this change."

Quoted In:

Wright, J.L., "Six Reno Hilton restaurants go smokefree," RGJ.com, February 8, 2006.


Heidi Bitar, General Manager, Best Western River North Hotel in Chicago, IL

On the reason her hotel added more nonsmoking rooms: "We had trouble keeping up with all of the non-smoking requests."

Quoted In:

Stoller, G., "Westin touches match to smoke-free trend," USA Today, January 31, 2006.


Vivian Deuschl, Vice president with the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain

Deuschl indicated that it costs about four times as much to clean a smoking room, compared to a nonsmoking room, because of the need to more often clean the drapes, carpet, and bedding in such rooms.

Quoted In:

Stoller, G., "Westin touches match to smoke-free trend," USA Today, January 31, 2006.


David Hill, General Manager, Topaz Hotel, Washington D.C.

Hill indicated that the number of guest requesting smoking rooms was "small compared to the number of people who were complaining about being put in a smoking room" and that the smokefree policy has been "a huge weight off the shoulders of our (customer) service staff. I will never go back."

Quoted In:

Bean Yancey, K., "Westin hotels ban smoking," USA Today, December 4, 2005.


Paul Monkhouse, Manager Marine Hotel, Paignton

"A public smoking ban would send a clear message to people that smoking, in hotel rooms, is not acceptable. This is important to us as although we operate a no smoking policy in our hotel in all rooms except the bar people do still smoke in their rooms. This is a real safety fear. I think having a smoking ban will actually encourage holidaymakers to our hotel over time. I am very much in favour of the Government's crackdown."

Quoted In:

[n.a.], "Public smoking ban supported by large majority of bosses, FPB survey reveals," FPB.org [Forum of Private Business], June 22, 2005.


Tony Beckerley, General Manager, Granville Inn

"Having an establishment completely free of smoke is clearly part of a better experience for everyone."

Quoted In:

Miller, B., "Granville Inn bans smoking," Newark Advocate, January 19, 2005.


Mel Heifetz, Owner, Alexander Inn, Philadelphia, PA

"From my experience of going up to New York, where they do have full ban, and to other cities like Los Angeles and Miami, it has worked very conveniently for smokers and non-smokers. At the inn, we have two out of six floors with smoking ... and you notice if you walk through, the damage to the furniture and walls. The attention these rooms get, in repainting, replacing fabrics and furniture, is five times more than the non-smoking rooms."

Quoted In:

Dickman, A. Baker, M.C., "Proposed smoking ban gets mixed reaction," Philadelphia Gay News 29(12), March 18-24, 2005.


Brian Schmechel, Director of Sales, Marquette Hotel, MN

"People come here because Minneapolis offers so much more than whether you can have a cigarette. The hotel community markets the city's amenities, and so I don't see that it [smokefree law] will be a problem."

Quoted In:

Walkup, C., "Minneapolis-area operators confront regionwide smoke bans," Nation's Restaurant News 38(32): 8 , August 9, 2004.


Toni Lucario, Director of sales and marketing for the Grand Hotel, AZ

"We're well under 20 percent [of smoking rooms]. We'll continue to offer smoking rooms but we're already almost entirely non."

Quoted In:

Brown, J., "Smoking snuffed by county order," Grand Canyon News, February 5, 2004.


Peter Ilchuk, President of the Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West

"Many of our places in Key West have outdoor spaces where people can go smoke. I haven't heard of it as a problem."

Quoted In:

Morrow, R., "Smoking ban shakes up some eateries; Home Depot moves in," Key West Citizen, January 5, 2004.


Cecilia Marotto, Communications Specialist, Harrah's Laughlin, Laughlin, NV

Re: nonsmoking casino area: "Our customers absolutely love it. It's very popular with our health-conscious guests. The gaming area is truly divided, but both sides have exciting gaming. We point very sensitive people to the left, others to the right."

Quoted In:

LaRocca, W., "Smoking... or non? From poker rooms to showrooms, Nevada's hotel-casinos are clearing the air for nonsmoking customers," Nevada Magazine, May/June, 2004.


Gary Stevens, Slot Director at Colorado Belle, Laughlin, NV

"Customers' requests drive the change to smoke-free spaces. We have a 5,000-square-foot nonsmoking area that features a variety of our players' favorite slot machines."

Quoted In:

LaRocca, W., "Smoking... or non? From poker rooms to showrooms, Nevada's hotel-casinos are clearing the air for nonsmoking customers," Nevada Magazine, May/June, 2004.


Vijay Dandapani, Chief Operating Officer, Apple Core Hotels

Regarding the company's New York City smokefree hotel: "The Comfort Inn Midtown has been our most consistent property in terms of occupancy and repeat visitation since the smoke-free conversion in August 2001."

Quoted In:

[n.a.], "Smokefree NYC hotel enjoys 100% occupancy," [n.s.], [2004].


Steve Trounday, Vice President of Marketing, Reno Hilton, Las Vegas, NV

"We would not have changed our restaurants to smoke-free if we thought it was going to hurt our business. It's been a good decision for us. The compliments we get are tremendous."

Quoted In:

Depoali, M. Stokes, R., "Where there's smoke, there's fire. Nevada's smoking debate lights up," Reno Magazine: 89 , Winter, 2004.


Rick Layton, Georgia Hospitality and Travel Association

"Hotels are finding more and more that the demand [for smoking rooms] is going down."

Quoted In:

Gallagher, J., "Hotels try to freshen up smoking rooms," Augusta Chronicle, October 20, 2003.


Barry White, Chairman, August Convention and Visitors Bureau

"A smoker can stay in a nonsmoking room, but a nonsmoker does not like to stay in a smoking room."

Quoted In:

Gallagher, J., "Hotels try to freshen up smoking rooms," Augusta Chronicle, October 20, 2003.


Chris Canavos, Manager, Howard Johnson's, Williamsburg, VA

On going smokefree in the entire hotel: "In all of our publications, we promote a smoke-free environment, and we've gotten calls because of it. Families with kids, it's attractive to them. It reinforces cleanliness and safety."

Quoted In:

Linkous, J., "More hotels put up the 'no smoking' sign," Lexington Herald-Leader, September 22, 2003.


Scott Sledge, President, Mississippi Hotel & Motel Association and general manager of the Cabot Lodge in Rideland

Re: making the lobby smokefree: "We got a lot more attention from non-smokers, pleased that we did it, than grief from smokers."

Quoted In:

Floyd, N.L. Linkous, J., "Miss. hotels may become smoke-free," Clarion-Ledger, September 20, 2003.


Gary Dominguez, Co-owner, York Harbor Inn, Maine

On voluntarily making the building, guest rooms, bar and restaurant smoke-free:

"We made the decision partly because our building is very hard to treat (for tainted) air because of the low ceilings. We also had a concern for our employees, always having to breathe second-hand smoke. When we first did it, most of our clientele were happy, and most smokers understood. We noticed a tiny drop-off in the pub at first, then business actually increased because it was smoke-free. I think the effect was positive."

Quoted In:

Dandurant, K., "Smoking ban in bars gets applause," Portsmouth Herald, July 1, 2003.


Jim Abrams, Executive Vice President, California Hotel and Lodging Association

"We in California's lodging industry were understandably nervous about the potential detrimental effects a smoking ban would have on our business. But none of the doomsday predictions happened. In fact, tourism in California increased each year following passage of AB 13. We can say with certainty to the rest of the country that a workplace smoking ban is good for the lodging industry. California's Smoke-Free Workplace Law has benefited millions of workers over the past several years by protecting them from the deadly effects of secondhand smoke. We hope California servers as an example to other cities, states and countries that a smoking ban is good for workers, employers and the public. More and more of our hotel and motel members have gone further than the law mandated. While the law required only 35 percent of hotel and motel rooms be non-smoking, most members set aside a much higher percentage due to customer demand. The fact is that the vast majority of customers prefer a smoke-free environment."

Quoted In:

[n.a.], "California's health, labor and business leaders confirm 8-year success of smoke-free workplaces," National Conference on Tobacco or Health, November 20, 2002.


Michael Casey, President, Hotel & Restaurant Employees, Local 2, AFL-CIO

"The tobacco industry tried to scare our members into thinking their employers would lose business due to the smoking ban, and that they would lose their jobs. I'm proud to say our union members and many employers saw through these tactics and stood up for the right to a safe and healthy workplace. The restaurants, bars and hotels where our members work did not suffer any adverse effects from the smoking ban. If anything, it's been good for business and customers as well as for our members."

Quoted In:

[n.a.], "California's health, labor and business leaders confirm 8-year success of smoke-free workplaces," National Conference on Tobacco or Health, November 20, 2002.


Frank Taylor, Manager, Best Western Fallsview, Niagara Falls

The Best Western Fallsview in Niagara Falls has gone completely smokefree; hotel manager Frank Taylor stated, "The demand for more non-smoking room has grown to such an extent, we feel our business will grow if all our rooms are non-smoking."

Quoted In:

Langley, A., "Hotel bans butts from all rooms: Best Western offers smoke-free environment," Review, October 23, 2002.


Vijay Dandapani, Chief Operating Officer, Apple Core Hotels

Regarding a decision to make one of its hotels completely smokefree: "It has nothing to do with public policy. There's tremendous demand."

Quoted In:

[n.a.], "San Diego hotelier joins nascent smoke-free movement," Reuters, August 30, 2001.


Jerry Reiss, City Councilman, City of San Luis Obispo, California

Regarding a claim by the Tobacco Institute that restaurant receipts in San Luis Obispo, California, decreased by 26 percent due to a smokefree law, Reiss stated, "First and foremost, this information was not supplied by the City of San Luis Obispo and is completely inaccurate. Restaurant and hotel sales tax receipts for the first two quarters of 1991 (after adoption of the Ordinance in August of 1990) were actually higher by 7.6% when compared to sales tax receipts for this same category during the first two quarters of 1990 (prior to adoption of the Ordinance)."

Quoted In:

Reiss, J., "[Letter to Los Angeles, California, Mayor Tom Bradley re: the economic impact of a clean indoor air ordinance]," San Luis Obispo, CA: City of San Luis Obispo, Office of the City Council, March 9, 1992.