Thursday, April 02, 2009

'Unusual' unity on smoking ban bill

Polling analyst Tom Jensen notes some interesting things about today's House vote approving a smoking ban in restaurants and public places by a 72-45 vote. It wasn't a strictly party-line vote. He says:

-Although it was largely a party line vote with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed, almost a quarter of the votes did not fit that trend with 18 Republicans voting in favor of the bill and 11 Democrats voting against it. That unusual level of non-party unity may be a reflection of the fact that public opinion about the smoking ban is actually not particularly polarized along party lines. When we polled it in February 68% of Democratic voters and 62% of Republicans expressed support for it, not a particularly large disparity. This was not an issue where GOP representatives needed to vote against it to keep the base happy.

-Most of the Democrats voting against the bill represent districts in the tobacco growing country of eastern North Carolina, but our survey actually found a level of support for the smoking ban in that region equal to the statewide support of the bill. 64% of North Carolinians overall expressed approval for the proposal and so did 64% in the east. The place where we found voters much less supportive than overall was the Triad where it earned just 52% favorability.


This analysis is available on Public Policy Polling's blog at
http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2009/04/smoking-ban-and-public-opinion.html

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

This smoking ban bill is a JOKE. Why didn't they ban smoking in bars? Bars are the worst when it comes to second hand smoke!

Anonymous said...

It is not a joke...at least I am seeing some compromise for both sides. Business should have the right to regulate their business. If they want to serve smokers it should be their right. Remember smokers are citizens of this country and until smoking becomes completely illegal I should have the right to smoke. I can not smoke at work unless I go out side. I can not smoke at the movies unless I go out side. I see no one speaking up to ban alcohol from restuarants or bars. Does not drinking cause just as many health and mental concerns as smoking. I agree with Representative Allen. If we are going to ban smoking we should ban other things that can be health issues. Restuarants that serve us too much food. Lower the cost of eating out if they served appropriate amounts. That would mean shutting dowm most fast food restuarants. How many people are vocing their opinion on that health issue. You can not tell me that being over weight is not a health concern. I agree smoking is bad, but so are many other things in our every day life.

Jeff said...

I don't see this as a health issue, but as the government committing yet another infringement on the rights of both business owners and American citizens. If a business owner wants to allow smoking in their establishment, that is their perogative, as it is also up to them if they don't want to allow smoking. As Ben Franklin said "A society that will sacrifice a little liberty for a little security, deserves neither and will lose both. Our founding clearly designed this country based on small government. They were wise enough to realize that the less government interference, the better. What we have today is very Big Government, and a corrupt one at that. George Orwell was right, Big Brother is watching.

aiqing said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The POINT of the bill is not to stop you from smoking ever in life. It's to protect those who do not wish to die early because their lungs have been destroyed by smoke. Secondhand smoke is a killer for those of us who choose not to smoke. So why should we be punished if we choose to go out to eat, go out to a bar, go dancing? Yes, alcohol and eating too much food can be unhealthy, but these are personal choices that YOU make for YOURself. For the most part, they don't impact the physical health of others. I'm not going to get liver cirrhosis if you drink a ton of alcohol. I'm not going to get obesity or diabetes if you choose to eat a supersized fast food meal. But I can still be in the same place as you and continue to make my own personal choices. But if you're smoking next to me at a bar where I am just trying to have a little fun, my lungs die a little each time I have to breath your air. THAT is the point of this ban, not to make you stop smoking. That's your choice. Sure it may be a little harder -- but you still get to smoke while walking the sidewalks, inside and outside your home...and in your car after which you throw your cigarette out the window and onto my car driving behind you.

Anonymous said...

I personally do not care that you choose slow suicide by smoking, it is just that you do not have the right to force others to take that route along with you. There are EMPLOYEES in those bars who are forced to inhale the toxins you distribute, so it IS a health issue. Go to YOUR home and smoke 200,000 cigarettes a day! Just do not befoul the rest of the earth while doing so.

Anonymous said...

Jeff hit the nail on the head. The issue isn't about smoking at all. As for Anonymous #4's comments, "forcing" and "making" are strong words. If you as a patron or employee don't want to deal with cigarette smoke, frequent or work at other places; choices are allowed. Business owners should be able to allow the lawful use of lawful products in their establishments. And I'm a non-smoker.

Anonymous said...

I like smoking and will continue to smoke no matter what the nazi's tell me to do.

Anonymous said...

"Live and let live' used to be a noble approach to life. Now you're considered companssionate if you demand that government impose your preferences on others" John Stossel

Mary said...

You idiot! There is no such thing as getting cancer from second hand drinking! However, when those of us who do not smoke are forced to breath the air from your stinky, lethal cigarette, THAT IS an infringement on our right to breath clean air! Compromise...NO! If you want to kill yourself with cigarettes, don't take children, the elderly and the rest of us who must breath the air, you pollute, with you! And another thing....how about smoking somewhere other than just outside the front door of non smoking places! We have to walk through that wall of stink too!

Anonymous said...

Mary screw you. Your part of the reason this country is going down the toilet.

Anonymous said...

Smoking is for bored people, get a life. Smoking violates the air space of others. Smokers should find a nicotine drink or smokeless cigarette, but that wouldn't look cool.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of why people smoke it's still a free country. Get off my back!!

Anonymous said...

"The true danger is when Liberty is nibbled away, for expedients" Edmund Burke

non-whiner said...

I'm glad they've passed this! I'm an ex-smoker, and now it's nastier than ever to smell all that smoke, especially when I'm eating! Therefore, take your smoking asses outside and suck it up! Whiners!!

Anonymous said...

Let the free market chose. If bars or restuarants want to allow people to smoke they should have that right. One thing it still is a legal product. Secondly it's private property. If you don't like smoking go to a restuarant that doesn't allow smokers. It really is that simple.

Anonymous said...

Business should NOT, repeat, NOT have the right to "regulate their business." That kind of profoundly wrong-headed thinking is exactly what got us into the financial debacle we now face. If you believe that, then businesses should also self-regulate for tainted food and child labor. After all, "businesses should have the right to self-regulate."

The support for lethal carcinogens in this pious state of bible-thumpers and flag wavers is just shameful.

wesdissis said...

Don't get me wrong, I don't like someone else's smoke, but tell me where the government has the right to tell a bar owner who owns his building and pays the bills that they can't let a patron smoke in the bar. Make your case please!!

Anonymous said...

Actully anon 11:01 the gov't got us into this mess with a easy credit monetary policy. As for your other comments I suggest going to sensitivity training. You obvisiously cannot tolerate anyone that does not comform to your small mind.

Anonymous said...

""The whole of mankind's progress has had to be achieved against the resisitance and opposition of the state and its power of coercion" Ludwig Von Mises

Anonymous said...

Oh thank goodness. It'll be wonderful to be able to eat somewhere without being surrounded by smoke, because the smoking section is in the center of the restaurant with no physical divisions between it and the rest of the room.

I'm all for freedom to smoke if you want, but smoking indoors in enclosed areas is unhealthy for others. I see it as similar to banning drunk driving - both are potentially deadly to others, one immediately, and one over time.

There are these same laws elsewhere in the country, and the sky hasn't fallen and businesses haven't closed because of it. Can people really not wait until they're finished eating to smoke?

Anonymous said...

Why do people who don't like smoking go to a restuarant that allows smoking? Why do we need the government to tell business owner's how to operate their business? Their are plenty of smoke free places and as demand increases for more smoke free places they'll be even more. This issue can be solved for smoker's and non-smoker's alike via the market economy.

Anonymous said...

A few points:

1. There is NO definitive study not swayed by an agenda that proves secondhand smoke causes anything.

2. People can choose not to go to an establishment that allows smoking.

3. If smoking is banned, then fat people eating in public should be banned, too. It is just as disgusting.

Anonymous said...

You know I understand second hand smoke and people awareness but you are also giving the usa a dangerous power it is becoming more and more comunistic and powerfull be carefull we have rights just like the rest of you why not install areas for smokers and places to welcome us even if it is away from those of you who dont want us you know stay with your friends and dont just up our taxes and ban us wow you are some that just want to drive out those you dont care to welcome into scociety right.

Anonymous said...

A:

No Actual Proof shows that second hand smoke does anything.

B: To Mary's point are you high? Second Hand Alcoholism is real, and it hurts many of child and others not even related to the Drunk. Freedom is freedom, its like trying to be a little bit pregnant. Its either all or none, and in the end everyone will pay once the smokers are gone and then Big Brother will just go after then next thing that looks like a good source of Tax Revenue

Anonymous said...

Smoking is awsome! How else could you smell terrible and get yellow teeth and bad skin all at once. I make my dog go outside to $h*t and my friends go outside to smoke.

Anonymous said...

I poop outside and smoke inside.

Anonymous said...

blahblah smoking is bad. That's all i gata say!!! so quit smoking....it's better 4 eveybody!!!

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