Starbucks set to ban smoking within 25 feet of stores

Manager says no smoking policy to go into effect nationwide this weekend

Author: Tim Pulliam, General assignment reporter, tpulliam@wjxt.com
Published On: May 29 2013 08:26:43 PM EDT   Updated On: May 30 2013 07:22:30 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

In a letter posted at a local Starbucks, the company says it will no longer allow customers to smoke within 25 feet of its stores.

Joshua Martin's weekly routine after a hard day's work is relaxing on Starbuck's patio in San Marco with a coffee and cigarette.

"Man, just sitting outside smoking a cigarette, a Camel, having a nice coffee, beautiful," said Martin.

But starting Saturday, that will have to change.

"It's sad, but Starbucks is turning into restaurants," said Martin. "No smoking outside or inside, it happens. It's the wave of the future."

A manager tells Channel 4's Tim Pulliam the no smoking policy will go into effect nationwide this weekend.

Meredith Robinson can't wait. The non-smoker said the new rule allows her to enjoy the patio, too.

"It makes for a better environment because a lot of people go to Starbucks and drink their coffee, too, especially on a pretty day like this," said Robinson.

Long-time smoker Charli Dirani believes Starbucks will lose business under the policy by kicking people, like him, to their curb or even farther away.

"I think for them to stop that is a conflict between the two," said Dirani. "Everybody knows coffee and cigarettes go hand-in-hand."