Starbucks to start banning smoking within 8m of cafes in the US

NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks customers in the United States will soon have to stamp out their cigarettes before approaching the cafes.

The Seattle-based chain said it will start banning smoking within 8m of its stores, beginning Saturday. Starbucks spokesman Jaime Lynn Riley said the intent is to expand the indoor no-smoking policy to the outdoor seating areas.

"If there were any concerns, we would hope to resolve it amicably." Ms Riley said, referring to a customer who might be smoking within the restricted area.

The rule will apply to the 7,000 cafes owned and operated by Starbucks Corp, regardless of whether they have outdoor seating areas.

The policy should not cause a big difference in many areas that already ban smoking within a certain distance of a business entrance.