So there I was, looking from left to right and vice versa as if I was doing something illegal, something criminal. When the coast was clear and found no authorities watching, I lighted a stick of Marlboro on the sidewalk of Pasong Tamo Extension in front of Starbucks Coffee which is a very busy street in Makati and considered to be a “public place”. Since July 1, 2011 smoking in public places in the Philippines has become illegal.
So yes, technically, I was indeed doing an illegal activity. I was breaking the law.
But it was not my fault. It was Starbucks’ fault.
After being a patron of Starbucks brand since the time they first opened in the 6750 Building in 1997, I was shocked and saddened to find out that all of its branches nationwide have no longer a smoking area. As in all, even the one inside Resorts World where the entire building is practically a smoking area.
Starbucks Coffee just lost one customer who consumed one to two mugs of brewed coffee a day for more than a decade. I used to hold almost all my meetings outside the office in Starbucks because of the smoking area they used to have.
How many Starbucks customers like me who are now seeking nicotine refuge while enjoying a cup of coffee in Bo’s Coffee, Coffee Bean and Tealeaf and Figaro?
Coffee is the perfect match for smoking and given the number of smokers among middle class working men and women, Starbucks is losing at least 40% of its customers in all branches nationwide. Convert that in sales value and I am telling you, they are losing income.
Smoking may be bad for my health but it is good for my soul. It keeps me sane from the madness of this world. Since time immemorial like two to ten centuries ago, man was already smoking and it is only in this time that the health issues have been raised. It’s not smoking nor second hand smoke but the pollution caused by deadlier smoke emission in vehicles and factories that contributed to the increasing number of lung failure fatalities.
Speaking on behalf of all smokers, we respect the rights of non-smokers and that is why we patronize coffee shops with smoking areas. With the new regulation of Starbucks Coffee, it only means that its management doesn’t want our business and so we will take it elsewhere.
Thus, I urge all fellow smokers to boycott Starbucks Coffee and let us bring our business in coffee shops with smoking areas.
Boycott Starbucks Coffee!
My Rule of Thumb for Starbucks No Smoking Policy: TRIPLE THUMBS DOWN!!!
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