Starbucks tells smokers: no smoking within 25 feet of stores

| March 19, 2017

Americans and Canadians who enjoy a cigarette with their Starbucks café mocha may want to change their routine. A new company ban that went into effect on June 1st, 2013 prohibits smoking within 25 feet of a Starbucks store.

Smoking is already banned inside Starbucks stores. However, the new ban extends to all 7,000 company owned stores in the U.S. and Canada, regardless of whether or not the cafes have outdoor seating.  In total, 4,000 Starbucks locations, including franchises and licensed shops in retailers such as Target and Barnes & Noble, are exempt from the ban.

Twenty-five feet sounds like a significant distance, and most wouldn’t normally have rulers on hand to effectively measure their distance from Starbucks’s door. The legally required distance is variable, too. It depends on the size of the Starbucks-owned property. If a Starbucks only controls property 15 feet from a particular store, then smokers outside the area can light up if the local law allows.

The transition to implementing the rule is expected to be easier in certain areas. In California, cities such as Los Angeles, Burbank, Calabasas, and Santa Monica already have rules banning smoking near outdoor dining areas, food carts, trucks, and beaches.

“We’re pretty optimistic that people will be supportive and at the very least cooperative,” said Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Riley. “We are confident that we can resolve any concern amicably.”

Property managers should use signs to reinforce the new 25-foot distance rule.

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Category: Smoking Rules

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