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Omnivore - Starbucks bans patio smokers

No smoking within 25 feet of the store

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Another victory for the lungs! Starbucks has banned smoking within 25 feet of its 7,000 locations in Canada and the U.S. As of last Saturday, that means no more smoking on the patio.

As a regular at the Ansley Mall Starbucks - actually, far less these days - I know this is going to infuriate some friends. Fortunately, there are patio tables in the mall courtyard that will lessen the pain of forgoing four cigarettes in seven minutes. My friend Jay is going to be especially pissed that even his electronic ciggy is banished.

As Matt Hennie of Project Q Atlanta writes, the consequences of this at the Ansley store, nicknamed "Bearbucks," go farther than protecting health. It kind of cockblocks the guys cruising one another with a phallic totem between their lips and fingers.

I'm glad for the change, although I understand smokers' anger, being a former smoker myself. I noticed soon after I quit that I became acutely sensitive to the smell of cigarette smoke in public areas and on people's clothing. I think many smokers, if not most, don't have a clue as to how much even a little smoke pollutes the air and generally makes them stink.