May 5, 2006


Poll: Smoking ban a hit (Tom Hester, 5/05/06, Newark Star-Ledger)

New Jerseyans overwhelmingly support the state’s three-week-old smoking ban in indoor public places, according to a Monmouth University poll released today.

The poll, conducted via telephone between April 17 and 20, indicates 70 percent of New Jerseyans support the law, with 61 percent saying they strongly favor the initiative. Monmouth’s Polling Institute conducted the survey on behalf of the Medical Society of New Jersey.

In addition, a majority of smokers - 47 percent to 33 percent - agree that the rights of nonsmoking patrons should supersede their right to light up indoors. Eight-five percent of the 803 people polled statewide believe all workers deserve protection from secondhand smoke and 83 percent agreed restaurants and bars are healthier for customers and workers under the ban.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 5, 2006 1:14 PM

This shouldn't be about the rights of smokers vs. the rights of nonsmokers. It should be about the rights of business owners choosing what rules they put in place. Before the smoking ban, a restaurant had every right to have a no-smoking policy. So what was the problem? If nonsmokers don't want to be around smoke, they had an incentive to patronize those establishments that banned smoking. But that wasn't good enough. They wanted to play Nanny State again.

Posted by: Michael at May 5, 2006 3:44 PM


No one has a right to harm themself or others.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2006 3:49 PM

Michael, you are, of course, perfectly correct, and even though I enjoy a non-smoking atmosphere, I am apprehensive about the ease with which the state usurped the rights of citizens to use a legal product as they wish.

Posted by: erp at May 5, 2006 4:20 PM


"The state usurped the rights of citizens to use a legal product as they wish." is self-contradictory.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2006 4:25 PM

Thanks OJ. Sent a copy to my state senator. He thinks our motto should be changed to: Live free and die! He voted against the ban in NH that lost by one vote.

Posted by: Genecis at May 5, 2006 5:14 PM

The WA smoking ban went into effect 12-8-05. Since that day my company's revenue has dropped 15% and we had our first negative quarterly P&L in our 7+ years of existence. If this continues for 6 more months we will be laying off 135 employees averaging $40k per year and shutting the doors for good. Of course we are a lounge and cardroom so oj likely considers it a 2 for 1 deal. Unfortunately, the customers who used to come here simply drive 20 minutes to the Indian casino where the ban doesn't apply. At least we paid the city $500k a year in taxes (leaving profit of around $200k)- the Muckleshoot tribe will pay next to nothing on their $700k per year bonanza.

Posted by: Patrick H at May 5, 2006 5:29 PM

Couldn't agree more OJ. Can't wait until the legislatures finally get around to legislating individual menu items based on the harm they can cause to the consumer!

Posted by: JMG at May 5, 2006 5:30 PM

We've had an FDA for almost a hundred years now, no? And every restaurant in your town gets visited by health inspectors.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2006 5:34 PM


With all due respect, casinos oughtn't be legal either.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2006 5:35 PM

oj. How so? Tobacco products are legal, so using them as they were meant to used, i.e., smoking them in privately owned estabishments can't be illegal.

It's these "laws" which are contradictory.

Posted by: erp at May 5, 2006 5:40 PM

They're only legal to the extent that the state says they are--they're a thoroughly regulated product.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2006 5:53 PM

Just as paleocons want to eliminate big government, theocons want to eliminate gambling. Neither is a realistic position. The third way and the casinos are here to stay.

Posted by: Patrick H at May 5, 2006 5:58 PM

In fact, tobacco use is quickly declining in America, whereas gambling is exploding.

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at May 5, 2006 7:23 PM

In a Reddening nation it faces the same fate.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2006 7:27 PM

OJ, I assume you think it was a perfectly reasonable exercise of state power for Oregon to have prevented Glenn from ordering a medium-rare burger.

Posted by: JMG at May 5, 2006 8:07 PM

Sure, you can kill all this junk just by cooking the meat. What's evil is for the state to sanction killing.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2006 8:18 PM

Mississippi, a "Red" state, had the chance to rid itself of gambling recently, after Katrina destroyed the industry in Miss.

Instead, they decided to expand legal gambling.

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at May 5, 2006 9:37 PM

Yes, they're an impoverished state. When they grow up they'll ditch it.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2006 9:40 PM

Very 2nd Way OJ!

Posted by: JMG at May 5, 2006 11:40 PM

No, neighbor love is conservative.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2006 11:50 PM

Well, I guess I shouldn't complain about any exercise of governmental power because it is probably just in fact the action of a friendly neighbor. Somebody please stop this 3rd Way Ride, I want off...

Posted by: JMG at May 6, 2006 12:30 AM

There is no getting off of the Third Way, and America is getting more puritan, not less.

Posted by: oj at May 6, 2006 8:04 AM