[Posted by Kevin Fanning]
* A new survey had smoking ban advocates giddy yesterday:
The telephone survey found that 73 percent of the respondents think the state’s ban on smoking has been beneficial. The percentage increased by nearly 10 percent since the same company conducted a similar poll a year ago, when the issue was debated statewide.
“Clearly, the public understands that cigarette smoke in the workplace is a serious health hazard,” said Joel Africk, president of the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago. “Public opinion is key behind smoke-free Illinois.”
The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. They polled 606 Illinois residents from May 28 to June 1, and the poll had a margin of error of +/- 4%.
It was paid for by the American Lung Association of Illinois, the American Cancer Society-Illinois, and the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago.
* The poll means increased trouble for casinos who have been pushing for an exemption to the ban. After news of the poll hit, they stuck to their main argument:
Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, said casino revenue shortfalls translates to less money the state can spend on other projects.
“I suspect that we will continue to try to get some waiver for the casinos,” said Swoik.
* However, after six months of the ban being in effect, most businesses seem to be complicit…
Then there are the restaurant and bar owners. Before the smoking ban, many were furious about enforcing a law upon their patrons. They feared a drop in customers and profit.
But six months into smoke-free Illinois, at least three Fox Valley establishment owners say business is alive and well.
Without an outcry from the business community over a loss in revenue from the ban, it will be difficult for casinos to keep pushing this line. Thoughts?