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Starbucks bans smoking 25 ft from stores

Some customers may ignore restriction

June 12, 2013

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Coffee drinking smokers across the nation may have to take their drinks to go. Starbucks Coffee Company announced an outdoor smoking ban of 25 feet from the building's entrance effective this month.

Starbucks alpharetta
(click for larger version)
"Wish they could do it within 25 miles," said Randy Ballard, of Roswell.

The move has sparked the national battle between smokers and non-smokers and ignited the community's debate on smoking ethics.

Charles Mears, an Alpharetta businessman and smoker for nearly 13 years, said he agrees with the recent ban.

"I think people that smoke shouldn't annoy people that don't, I've always felt that," Mears said as he sat outside a Starbucks store off Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta. "Especially in a place where people are eating and drinking."

The new policy serves as an extension of the existing one, said Jaime Riley, spokeswoman for Starbucks, as the store already implements a smoking ban indoors.

"The intent of the policy is just to provide customers with a healthy environment in our outdoor seating areas," Riley said. "We will really focus on the property we own or lease, we're not going to try to infringe on other company's spaces."

Customers enjoy a drink outside of a Starbucks in Cumming, Ga. (click for larger version)
The 25 foot designation is not concrete, Riley said, because in some cases local ordinance can trump the company's policy depending on the city.

Starbuck's employees, or partners as they are called, will enforce the change by "kindly" asking customers in violation to put out their cigarettes or leave the non-smoking area, Riley said.

This has not seemed to stop some customers who are accustomed to their stimulated combo of coffee and cigarettes.

Two smokers outside a Starbucks in Alpharetta even ignored requests by staff.

"I think they're going to lose a lot of business," one said, as she puffed away on a Newport. "We've been coming less."

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Tags: Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    June 13, 2013 | 08:33 AM

    Starbucks can keep their coffee, and I will gladly take my dunkin donuts home and also the hundreds of dollars I spend every year on Starbucks gift cards. I have graciously accepted not smoking indoors, but outside? That is getting ridiculous. And I've never smoked at a Starbucks outside anyway. It's the principle. This "anti-smoker" movement, especially by corporations trying to make a statement has crossed the line. How many of them have a few beers and drive home, putting everybody on the road's life in danger? I never ever do that. Look in the mirror and change yourself before you spend your time trying to change everyone else. If I go someplace and don't like what is going on, I remove myself from the situation rather than trying to change everyone else.

  2. report print email
    done with starbucks
    June 13, 2013 | 02:15 PM

    drinking coffee and eating fat rich pastries is pretty unhealthy too. I am talking the hint and will find some other expensive habit. goodby starbucks. nice knowing you.

    gainesille, fl
  3. report print email
    It's not about what's healthy and not healthy
    June 13, 2013 | 10:00 PM

    When are smokers going to realize its not about people trying to make them healthy? It's about protecting our personal space from annoyances. Your smoking is annoying. Three cars in front of me and I can still smell it type of annoying. Why do you feel like you have the right to inhibit my access to fresh air?

  4. report print email
    June 16, 2013 | 08:14 AM

    I don't get it. There are signs that tell you when and where to park, stop, railroad crossing, and on and on. I wonder why this is different?

  5. report print email
    Starbucks ban smoking
    June 27, 2013 | 12:50 PM

    First they banned smoking indoors, something I can support because smoking in a confined area isn't good for anyone. When they asked that you keep 20 ft away from the entrance, I had no problem as long as a smoking area was provided. Now they have banned smoking completely at Starbucks. I never truly cared for their product, I only went there because it was the last coffee shop you could socialize at while smoking. I would like to thank Starbucks for helping me to save a lot of money by buying a higher quality product from a competitor. The next thing you know, Starbucks will tell you where and when you can be gay.

    Braddah Cuz
  6. report print email
    July 05, 2013 | 06:22 PM

    "The intent of the policy is just to provide customers with a healthy environment in our outdoor seating areas," Riley said. "We will really focus on the property we own or lease, we're not going to try to infringe on other company's spaces."

    It would be nice if that they clearly marked the distance from the doors, getting yelled at by employees for sitting at the store next door or outback at the loading dock is getting ridiculous... claiming 25ft from the door in an open arc is extreme, even when they DO NOT own or lease 25ft of store front from the door placement, I think the employees need MORE training on this one. And if I am vaping on my e-cig that vaporizes a liquid like a glade plug-in (nothing burned, how many here have plug-ins at home?) with or without nicotine, because I can do both, it shouldn't offend, I don't think a coffee vape or atomic fireball smell is that offensive, and it usually takes people a long while to figure out what it is. With a cigarette its instant, you get someone yelling in your face about second hand smoke and the like, where they drive for an hour on ga400 or in traffic with windows up and recirculation on, god knows I love breathing a continuous fresh flow of exhaust from the traffic around me in a trapped confined space and yell at me about second hand smoke?

    yes smoking is bad... we ALL know it, its a life style choice, being fat or obese is a lifestyle choice (unless its a thyroid issue based on how many carbs you need to shove down your throat while you sit at your desk, I don't want to hear it), drinking is a life style choice, which starbucks now sells too... and the list goes on.

    I agree with everyones post here... it makes sense in all arguments, I visually find the obese and rather large offensive, but I didn't raise a petition to ban them for visiting the starbucks I'm at, NO, I go outside and sit with my back to the windows, watch traffic, maybe catch an accident or two then head home.

    Oh well that's my two cents, I just wished they would clearly mark the distance from the door.
    (BTW the camera work isn't bad, just wish the white tank tops face was more in frame and not her bust, didn't know if it was going to be a soft core shot)

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