Starbucks spokeswoman Jamie Riley confirmed in an email to KPCC that effective June 1, the company's no smoking policy will change to prohibit smokers within 25 feet of many of the ubiquitous coffee stores.
"Starbucks existing no-smoking policy will be expanded to include outdoor seating areas of company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada," Riley writes.
The rule will apply to the 7,000 cafes owned and operated by Starbucks Corp., regardless of whether they have outdoor seating areas.
Addressing what she calls "misinformed online reports" regarding the inclusion of electronic cigarettes, Riley clarifies: "Electronic cigarettes are already part of the preexisting no smoking policy, so there is nothing new there."
The Associated Press reported that the Seattle-based chain will start banning smoking within 25 feet of its stores, beginning Saturday, where permitted by its leases.
Riley tells the AP, "If there were any concerns, we would hope to resolve it amicably," referring to a customer who might be smoking within the restricted area.
The policy shouldn't cause a big difference in many areas that already ban smoking within a certain distance of a business entrance.