Smokers can say goodbye to lighting up in front of their favorite Starbucks because the coffee chain has officially banned smoking within 25 feet of their shops. The new policy took effect at all Starbucks locations in the U.S. and Canada on June 1, 2013 and about 7,000 stores in total will be affected. Patrons can now enjoy a completely smoke-free environment away from those who like to pair nicotine with their morning cup of Joe.
According to Fox News, Cynthia Hallett, the Executive Director of American Nonsmokers’ Rights, says that Starbucks will be the first major retail chain to enforce a policy for an issue that has typically been left up to the state. This new bout of leadership from the giant retail chain expands on many current and future regulations, namely Mayor Bloomberg’s Smoke-Free Air Act which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.
“Starbucks takes pride in providing a comfortable environment at our stores where customers and members of the community gather,” Starbucks said in a statement released to the Huffington Post. “We always value our customers feedback, and we take seriously our responsibility to provide all customers a safe, healthy environment that is consistent across our company-owned stores. We sincerely thank all customers for their support and cooperation.”
The new policy bans smoking on company store patios, storefronts and within 25 feet of store doors but will not affect locations housed in larger retailers like Target. Those needing a puff with their cappuccino will now have to cross the street, leaving the rest of us free to breathe in clean air and espresso beans.