Sunday, 29 November 2009

Poll Result

In a huge response (190 votes) the results of my poll on smoking in pubs were:

Should never have been introduced and should be repealed
58 (30%)
Should have been in introduced in a modified form to allow smoking in some areas
34 (17%)
Is a progressive and positive thing
56 (29%)
Is regrettable, but inevitable and we should accept it and move on
3 (1%)
Has ruined pubs and changed them for the worse
8 (4%)
Is a dead subject which we shouldn't even be discussing
31 (16%

The poll was interesting in that the smoking brigade, mostly anonymously, popped out of the woodwork to vote. Another interesting feature was the dodgy and bloody boring stats that were hauled out to defend the cause. One thing was clear from the smokers. They wish to conflate the smoking ban with a general health push against drinking; you can decide for yourself on that one. Most who didn't smoke, it appears, couldn't care less about smoking, but just didn't want to stink of the stuff. That aspect was scarcely addressed by the pro-smoking brigade. I could go on, but won't.

So if you count answers 1 and 5 as "anti", they polled a respectable 34%. If you count answers 3, 4 and 6 as "pro" ban, that is a total of 46%. The middle ground of a modified ban polled only 18%, so it seems we are all pretty entrenched in our positions. I notice it doesn't add up to 100%. Seems 3% is lost in the rounding.

My conclusion? Smokers were the ones losing their "rights", but even now they don't favour the compromise solution. Seems they weren't and aren't prepared to compromise even retrospectively. Non smokers aren't either, but they don't have to.

22 comments:

Southern Sam said...

Well I'm a smoker, and I voted for the compromise solution.

Anonymous said...

The owner decide to allow, not allow or have smoking or nonsmoking sections is a compromise.
The smoking or nonsmoking areas could be separated.
The move on option for many smokers presently is the stay away option.

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

I am currently writing a track about smokers. That is all for now.

RedNev said...

"They wish to conflate the smoking ban with a general health push against drinking", which is the old Stalinist "you're either for us or against us" argument. I belong firmly in the "couldn't care less but don't want to stink of the stuff" camp.

Curmudgeon said...

Very few opponents of the smoking ban (and remember that they are by no means all smokers) would not prefer the compromise solution to the current situation.

But that doesn't mean we have to abandon our basic principles - and I continue to believe that if there was a genuine demand for non-smoking areas and non-smoking pubs, the market would have provided it.

Erlangernick said...

It's not unlike my unscientific "polling" of Barvarians before the enactment of the ban here: smokers I know were not really "against" it, as they didn't want to "force" nonsmokers to be stinky--though they'd go ahead and smoke in cafés anyway, and non-smokers didn't want to "force" the smokers outside. (Buncha pussies, the lot of them.)

Nearly two years later, however, in the midst of a campaign to get people to sign the petition to repeal the newly-allowed exceptions and "Ænglicise" the Rachverbot, no one wants to go back to *no* ban, and smokers are the only ones making death threats against the head(s?) of the non-smokers' protection organisation.

FWIW, I predict the current petition drive will fail, and the butchered Bavarian smoking ban will remain in place as it is. Problem is, unlike in Oregon, where people's initiatives come to the ballot by actively collecting signatures in the streets, you have to be arsched to go down to the town hall to sign during working hours. And it doesn't look like the necessary 10% of the Bavarian population are arsched. Deadline is Wednesday. (13% of my city--one of the richest, best educated, and healthiest in the country--have already signed though.)

Also in the paper were the results of their own unscientific online sampling: 68% were going to sign the petition to eliminate the exceptions, 26% are against it--those who don't want to sit in smoke should find another local, and 6% couldn't be arsed to opine.

(And don't you go suggesting my stats are dodgy! Boring, okay, this I can accept.)

Woolpack Dave said...

Do I spot a small typo? "If you count answers 3, 4 and 5 as "pro" ban" should read "If you count answers 3, 4 and 6 as "pro" ban"?

I agree fully with your conclusion. Compromise, or rather that lack of willingness to do so, is the real issue here.

Erlangernick said...

How would having a law which says that the publican can decide whether to allow smoking or not differ from having no law at all--functionally? Sounds like a waste of legislation to me.

OTOH, if you modified the ban to allow seperate smoking rooms, would this not be unfair to one-roomed pubs that would like to allow smoking? And if you then modified it further, to allow small one-roomed pubs to allow smoking, would this not be unfair to large one-roomed pubs?

Anonymous said...

Outdoor bans are even crazier than indoor bans. The chemical make-up of shs is nearly 94% water vapor and A SLIGHT AMOUNT OF CARBON DIOXIDE with about 3% being carbon monoxide AND 3% CONTAINING THOSE SUPPOSED KILLER CARCENOGENS.........

n-nitrosomines which you hear so much about is actually inorganic arsenic..what they dont tell you is that the measurements they took match the naturally occuring arsenic in the air outside everywhere.
they measured levels at 0-29 picograms....which is totally safe.its the same as drinking a glass of water..the amount has to be 5 million times that to be harmful to humans........you see how they switched it. Trying to blame shs for what is actually a natural thing. The levels of other things in shs if they can be measured at all are millions if not billions of times smaller than the amounts needed to harm anyone......just remember this second hand smoke is a joke within nano seconds from the burn it turns into WATER VAPOR.....Even the exhaled smoke is loaded down with water vapor...osha has said nothing in shs/ets is going to harm you or anyone else.....what shs will do is irritate those with weak immune responces.......thats why shs is classified as a class 3 IRRITANT BY OSHA AND THE EPA.....Remember this a prohibition movement must rely on scare tactics and big money in order to succeed to the level of getting legislation....These outdoor regulations are even crazier than the first claims made for indoor bans.......lets do the silly math if one cig lets off 29 pico grams.We will use the high side of their measurement........and it takes 5 million picograms then thats 5 million divided by 29 = IN CIGARETTES SMOKED AT ONE TIME IN A SEALED ROOM.........172,414 CIGS SMOKED SIMULTANEOUSLY..........DIVIDE THAT BY 20 TO GET PACKS.........8620 PACKS ALL TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME...........SECOND HAND SMOKE IS A JOKE........and this same thing applies to anything they claim in shs/ets.........dont be fooled


As for secondhand smoke in the air, OSHA has stated outright that: "Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded." -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec'y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997
-harleyrider1978

Tandleman said...

For Pete's sake. You smokers still make other people stink - as well as yourselves. That's the real problem.

Tandleman said...

Dave - Typo agreed and corrected. Thanks.

Southern Sam said...

Erlangernick:

How would having a law which says that the publican can decide whether to allow smoking or not differ from having no law at all--functionally? Sounds like a waste of legislation to me.

Because it would provide a framework for non-smokers to set up their own smoke-free pub. Which could be as enforced as rigidly as non-smoking currently is in ALL pubs.

If it resulted in non-smoking pub-goers having to endure smokey pubs, then that's tough I'm afraid. Who are they to dictate what should or should not happen on someone else's property? Vote with your feet, I'd say.

I suspect that many landlords would soon think twice about allowing smoking were many of their customers to walk out the door.

Jeff Frane said...

Because it would provide a framework for non-smokers to set up their own smoke-free pub. Which could be as enforced as rigidly as non-smoking currently is in ALL pubs.

Prior to the smoking ban in England, was a pub prevented from declaring some or all of the pub non-smoking? Because if not, than the situation was just as Nick describes.

It's clear that there are (thank god) still real cultural differences between the US and the UK. Of course, over here smoking bans are instituted at the state level (or, on occasion, at the city level), so the focus of campaigns is quite different. The chances of any such ban ever being overturned is virtually nonexistent (in spite of the example of the Repeal of Prohibition ).

And, as I mentioned previously, our smokers are much less pushy.

Southern Sam said...

Prior to the smoking ban in England, was a pub prevented from declaring some or all of the pub non-smoking? Because if not, than the situation was just as Nick describes.

Of course they weren't prevented from doing so. But there was no explicit legal compulsion for smokers to adhere to the landlord's wishes.

Jeff Frane said...

Of course they weren't prevented from doing so. But there was no explicit legal compulsion for smokers to adhere to the landlord's wishes.

Which is a finger in the eye to your "Who are they to dictate what should or should not happen on someone else's property?" Apparently, someone has to pass a law to that effect or smokers would just tell the pub owner to piss off.

Southern Sam said...

What are you on about?

My proposal is very simple.

Publicans must display whether smoking is or is not permitted on the premises.

If it is permitted, people can smoke.

If it isn't permitted, then they can't....and the publican will be supported the authorities in upholding his wishes?

What exactly is your problem with that?

Jeff Frane said...

If it isn't permitted, then they can't....and the publican will be supported the authorities in upholding his wishes?

What exactly is your problem with that?


I don't have much of a problem with that at all, but your argument with Erlangernick was that somehow this situation hadn't existed previously.

The only distinction is the dubious claim that publicans didn't already have all the authority they needed to enforce a no-smoking rule. Do you seriously contend that they couldn't simply ban someone for breaking the rule? Or that they would have to call the cops to back them up?

Southern Sam said...

I don't have much of a problem with that at all, but your argument with Erlangernick was that somehow this situation hadn't existed previously.

Not for me it isn't. My argument is that it should be for the publican to decide whether to permit smoking in his pub, rather than the state or his customers.

As it happens, I wouldn't actually envisage there being much of a problem with enforcement. The provisions of the Act in relation to enforcement would simply be in there to reassure those who'd say it'd be impossible or difficult to run a smoke free licensed premises in that context.

Anonymous said...

Before even discussing "smoking" (i.e., behavior of individuals) it would be helpful, if not necessary to know what we are talking about...and it is NOT necessarily tobacco or (undefined) smoke.

A site called "Fauxbacco" has many references.
And "Bill Drake Smoke and Illusion" has plenty more.

Until it's clear about WHAT one is smoking, the whole "debate" is off target....a distraction from the Big Picture.

Until we can regularly call typical cigarettes "Dioxin Dowels" or "Pesticide Pegs" or "Radiation Rods", opposition to the Prohibitionists is a lost cause.

Erlangernick said...

Me, earlier, on the people's initiative to overturn the Bavarian legislature's waffling loosening last summer of the originally strict smoking ban enacted in January 2008:

FWIW, I predict the current petition drive will fail, and the butchered Bavarian smoking ban will remain in place as it is. Problem is, unlike in Oregon, where people's initiatives come to the ballot by actively collecting signatures in the streets, you have to be arsched to go down to the town hall to sign during working hours. And it doesn't look like the necessary 10% of the Bavarian population are arsched. Deadline is Wednesday.

Whoops--turns out that not only were 10% of the voting population arsed, but 14%. So, it looks like the petition will come to a popular vote next year, and since the large majority of Bavarians are non-smokers...hmmm...

Curmudgeon said...

So, it looks like the petition will come to a popular vote next year, and since the large majority of Bavarians are non-smokers...

Umm, I think you might be confusing "non-smokers" with "antismokers" there. And, by that logic, since the large majority of Bavarians are heterosexual, they are entitled to outlaw homosexuality.

Can't a solution be found that accommodates all three groups?

Erlangernick said...

Given this country's history in the last century, I've wondered about how people think of the whole issue of "tyranny of the majority (or minority)" here, compared to where I'm from. It occured to me when I was thinking about how the hurdle to getting a public initiative on the ballot is set a bit higher here.

I'm not sure whether performing homosexual acts in enclosed public places is more illegal than performing heterosexual acts is, honestly.

You will probably be astonished to learn that I don't think your line of logic holds here. In the one case, we're talking about making illegal a specific act in specific places, an act which directly, physically affects others around them, perhaps even harming their health. In the other case, we're talking about one segment of the population outlawing .... well, what do you mean exactly?

Are you saying that banning smoking in enclosed public places == banning being a smoker?

Like I said, I'm surprised that 14% of the population is motivated enough to go stand in long lines at town halls to deal with this. If 14% of Bavarians are anti-smoking, then I wouldn't be surprised if another 37% are passively interested enough to vote for the thing when it comes.

What solutions are there? No smoking ban? Nö. One with exceptions? That seems on its way out. What else then?