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article imageOp-Ed: Starbucks bans smoking within 25 feet of its 7,000 stores

By Ashley Woods     Jun 2, 2013 in Health
Beginning June 1, Starbucks will implement a smoking ban of 25 feet around their stores in the U.S. and Canada. This ban won't affect major metropolitan areas where smoking is already banned in public spaces.
Smoking bans are nothing new. Twenty-eight states have enacted state-wide bans on smoking in enclosed public places including bars and restaurants.
Smoking laws vary from state-to-state and even city-to-city. The bans can vary widely, with all banning smoking in and around hospitals and schools and a few banning smoking in all public venues such as parks and beaches.
Starbucks, beginning June 1, said it will ban smoking within 25 feet of its stores.
Jaime Lynn Riley, Starbucks spokeswoman, says this is to expand the indoor no-smoking policy to the outdoor seating areas.
This ban will apply to the 7,000 cafes owned by the Seattle-based chain, in the United States and Canada, regardless if they occupy an outdoor seating area.
Of course, many areas already ban smoking within a certain distance of businesses which is why I was a bit shocked by the comments:
BANTHEBUX says, "Starbuck's has always been a last resort, as they offer heartburn-inducing faux-coffee anyway. Telling people what they can and cannot do OUTSIDE is the last straw for me. I'm happily boycotting Starbucks."
The Old Timer says, "Just another good reason I have no inclination to ever set foot in a Starbucks ever again. Once was one time too many! But I might just aggravate them on this every chance I might get."
Smoking bans have caused controversy between the smokers rights and the non-smokers rights since their conception. Who is more at-right? The smoker to have their cigarette or the non-smoker to their clean air?
As a former smoker myself, I have always held the belief that the right is entitled to the person who does the less damage.
A study issued by the Institute of Medicine, concluded that secondhand smoke increased the risk of heart attacks. Not surprisingly, the study also found a reduction in heart problems soon after smoking bans were enforced.
Dr. Lynn R. Goldman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins University and a chairwoman on the panel, says, “we found a cause and effect relationship between smoking bans and decreases in heart attack and acute coronary events. It showed remarkable consistency. All of the studies showed decreases in the rate of acute myocardial infractions after implementation of smoking bans.”
Smoking is a consumer behavior, a choice. It is not a protected class and there is no such thing as a "right-to-smoke."
Our rights to an enjoyable, quiet life are limited by a responsibility to not violate the rights of others.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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