P-D 9/15/2010: “Survey shows St. Charles County supports indoor smoking ban”

Things keep humming on the smoke-free air front. Could it be that St. Charles County, which has hitherto been an especially tough nut to crack on this issue, is finally seeing the light? Let’s hope so. The folks there certainly deserve it. It’s time we stopped being the Smoke-Me State!

Survey shows St. Charles County supports indoor smoking ban

Discussion (51 comments as of September 15, 2010, 10:28 pm)

By Mark Schlinkmann • mschlinkmann@post-dispatch.com > 636-255-7203 | Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:00 am |

More than two-thirds of St. Charles County voters support a smoking ban in indoor public places, according to a survey released Tuesday by the American Cancer Society.
The random telephone poll of 400 registered voters turned up 68 percent supporting the measure, 28 percent opposed and 4 percent undecided.
The cancer society is part of a coalition of anti-smoking groups supporting an effort to put a smoking ban before voters at a countywide election in April.
The poll results will be used to lobby the County Council to approve a bill scheduling the election. The proposed ban would apply in municipalities and unincorporated areas. Lake Saint Louis on Oct. 1 will become the first St. Charles County community with a ban.
“The voters want protection from the dangers of secondhand smoke,” Stacy Reliford, a cancer society official, said at a news conference at the SSM St. Joseph Medical Park in St. Peters.
The survey was conducted July 20-22 by Fako and Associates of suburban Chicago. The poll has a margin of error of 4.85 percentage points.
The survey showed 58 percent of respondents strongly supported an indoor smoking ban and 10 percent somewhat supported the idea, for a total of 68 percent.
Meanwhile, 20 percent strongly opposed a ban and 8 percent were somewhat opposed — for a total of 28 percent.
Most respondents — 71 percent — said they would patronize restaurants following enactment of a smoking ban about as often as they do now, while 22 percent said they’d eat out more and 6 percent less.
A leading opponent of smoking bans across the St. Louis area, Bill Hannegan, reacted by saying that a nationwide USA Today/Gallup Poll released last month showed only 31 percent favored a ban on smoking in bars.
The St. Charles County survey didn’t ask separate questions on smoking bans in different types of venues but did mention bars in the general question it posed.
The national USA Today/Gallup survey, conducted by telephone July 8-11, asked 1,020 adults to choose between banning smoking, creating set-aside areas for smoking and having no restrictions on smoking in four types of public places.
The survey showed 59 percent nationally support a total ban on smoking in restaurants, 36 percent prefer set-aside areas for smoking and 4 percent want no restrictions.
That survey showed 31 percent support a total ban on smoking in bars, 43 percent want set-aside areas in bars and 23 percent want no restrictions.
Bans already are in effect in Clayton, Kirkwood, Arnold, Ballwin and Illinois. A countywide ban in St. Louis County and one in St. Louis will take effect Jan. 2, a day after a more restrictive version in Brentwood.
Creve Coeur ban
At Monday’s Creve Coeur City Council meeting, Councilwoman Beth Kistner, 1st Ward, said she would introduce a bill at the next meeting that would close in the city some of the exceptions in the St. Louis County smoking ban.
Mayor Harold Dielmann said 70 percent of the city’s restaurants are smoke free. He said he would support the bill as long it covers only indoor smoking.
One exception in the county ban allows smoking in bars that sell a small amount of food. The city may have one such bar, Kistner and Dielmann said.
She said she would use smoking ban ordinances in Ballwin, Brentwood, Clayton and Kirkwood as models for her bill.
Phil Sutin of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

12 responses to “P-D 9/15/2010: “Survey shows St. Charles County supports indoor smoking ban”

  1. “The voters want protection from the dangers of second-hand smoke??

    Smoke from a handful of crushed leaves and some paper that is mixed with the air of a decently ventilated venue is harmful to your health??

    If anybody believes that, then I have some ocean-front property in Ohio I would like to sell them.



  2. A study just released by the hospitality industry that was taken amongst
    the owners,workers and customers stated that 98 percent were against smoking bans.
    They are the ones who have a vested interest in this smoking policy

    • As I recollect, the New York Restaurant Association originally opposed legislative efforts in NYC but after the law went into effect concluded it actually was beneficial for business and now support smoke-free air.

  3. Voters can have protection from just about anything if they just stay away from whatever it is! I notice this poll did not even ask the right people. Were the business owners who are the only ones with anything invested polled? I believe smoking is already banned in public places. The issue here is the deliberate skewing of publicly owned vs. privately owned. Just because a business is open to the public does NOT mean the public should decide how the business is run. The public has nothing invested. The public can choose to enter or not. A vegetarian does not dine in a steakhouse if that’s all that’s served up! Proper signage is all that is needed, braille if necessary, to alert the public that personal responsibility ensues if they CHOOSE to enter a smoking allowed establishment! [791 characters]

    • Marlene, Your original comment was 1,255 characters and I requested that you edit it down to the new 1,000 character limit. Instead you responded by writing that “”It’s all completely relevant or I wouldn’t have written it.”
      You then violated the spirit of the new rules by simply splitting your original submission and resubmitting it as two comments.
      In an ecumenical spirit of tolerance, I’ve accepted your first submission, which is relevant to the blog, even though I disagree with it entirely, but I’m not accepting the rest as a) being irrelevant and b) violating the new reasonable rules for submissions. If you don’t want to accept publication on that basis please let me know and I’ll delete your approved comment.

  4. A survey done by the American Cancer Society. What a hoot! The ACS is funded with tens of millions of dollars every year by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to lobby for smoking bans, since, according to law, they cannot lobby for themselves. The RWJF holds over 43 million shares of Johnson & Johnson stock. J&J market Nicoderm, Nicorette, Nicotrol, and Nicoderm CQ. Amazingly their pharma funded “surveys” always come out for total bans. Wonder what would happen if they asked, “Do you think it saves childrens lives to ban smoking in a bar?” Or, “Is it healthier to smoke outdoors than indoors?” Or, “Are you aware that smoking bans in small taverns cause a 25 to 80% drop in revenue to those businesses?” It’s all about the grant funding to sell nicotine replacement products. The ACS is a lobby group. They are sitting on a interest earning savings account with a billion and a half in it. Do you REALLY think they want people to stop smoking OR cure cancer???? [970 characters]

  5. Martin, I can understand why you’d be pleased with the survey results, but I’m sure you know that there have been dozens (hundreds?) of similar (identical?) surveys run by antismoking groups almost everywhere a ban is proposed and with similar (identical?) results.

    The trick lies in who’s paying for the polling and who they hire. E.G. check out this statement from the Mellman Corp:


    “Some pollsters simply report on opinions. We use the most sophisticated analytical tools available to understand the motivations of consumers and voters so we can intervene in their decision-making processes to produce the outcomes our clients want.”

    Without knowing and intelligently evaluating the survey details and processes themselves, surveys are meaningless, particularly when sponsored by an advocacy group.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”
    (total=894 characters)

    • Michael, I don’t have any reason to distrust the survey results done independently for the ACS by Fako and Associates of Chicago. You appear to be impugning them without any evidence. You can do better than that.
      BTW, with a name like “Fako” they have to be honest.

  6. LOL on Fako! :> Actually Martin, given what I believe I have perceived (which is probably quite different than what you’ve believed you perceived) over the years regarding the antismoking movement, I feel fairly comfortable impugning them unless they’ve made the full survey, the details of how it was carried out (including such vital information as whether it was introduced by “This is from the American Cancer Society” or similar leading phrases/statements), and preferably, though unlikely, details of what they asked for when choosing a polling company.

    Read over my Stiletto again at:


    Martin, and I think you’d have to agree that, from my perspective, there’s a lot of reason to be suspicious of such things.

    – Michael

  7. Mellman Group was used quite frequently here in Wisconsin with similar results yet when put to a vote in cities and towns bans were voted down more frequently then not. This is a Property right plain and simple. The claims of health code are unfounded. Health codes are to protect from unknown hazards. Can you see food poisoning? can you smell e-colli. Of course not. You are warned not to eat raw or undercooked meat yet you can still order your steak rare, order sushi or steak tar tar. Risk is a part of life and businesses have the right to cater to those risks. The anti-smoking movement are nothing but a collective that wants to be declared a protected class and demand a right that does not exist anywhere in the Constitution. What amendment provides the right to smoke free air on private property? I can tell you that it the fifth amendment that bars the taking of property for public use. Declaring a business public space and denying the owner the right to use a legal product on their own property violates the spirit of the Constitution.

    Marshall P. keith

  8. I had some more thoughts on this subject. People vote with their dollars. If non-smoking establishments were in such high demand then they would get the lions share of the business forcing other businesses to follow suit. Reality does not back up the claim that most people want this.

    The rBar was opened with much fanfare run by an anti-smoking activist, only to close and reopen as a smoking establishment.

    On the closing.

    Marshall P. Keith

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