Friday, August 3, 2007

"Adult-Only Locations" - What is the Tavern League Talking about?

Recently the Tavern League released a survey claiming that there is support for exempting "adult-only locations" from a statewide smoke-free air bill. What qualifies as an adult-only location?
In Wisconsin, minors are allowed to enter taverns with their parents or guardians. Minors 14 and older may also be employed where alcohol beverages are stored, sold, or served. (Wisconsin Alcohol Beverage Laws summarized here.)

Given this information, what does the Tavern League mean when they ask survey respondents about exempting "adult-only locations?" They can't mean taverns. What do you think of when you hear "adult-only?" Strip clubs? "Novelty" shops off the highway? (Take our poll to let us know!) It's confusing, misleading, and insignificant to ask a question that relies on such a muddy definition. Confusing poll questions result in questionable results.

The Mellman Group and Public Opinion Strategies conducted a survey of WI voters in February 2007 where they asked respondents: "Would you favor or oppose a law in the State of Wisconsin that would prohibit smoking in most indoor public places, including all workplaces, public buildings, offices, restaurants, and bars?" The poll found that 64% of voters who responded were in favor.

When comparing the two questions, it's gotta be embarrassing for the Tavern League: there's no question which results are based on a clear, well-defined question. For the sake of fair and representative polling, it is disappointing that the Tavern League is reporting their results as sound data.


Aaron Doeppers said...

The Tavern League poll should be officially dubbed "The Pole Dancing Poll".

There is no better example of this misrepresentation of realty than the last Appleton vote. The proponents of rolling back the law tried to make the same false argument about "adult only" venues, but one of the places they wanted to exempt even had a children's menu.

Plus, all this poll question really shows (yet again) is that most people want smoke-free environments. This question doesn't show that anyone is against covering bars--and it certainly doesn't test covering every business equally and fairly. How many more polls do we need that show it is time for a smoke-free law?!?

Finally, yet again, they are ignoring the Surgeon General and the most importnat issue--we all deserve the same basic health protection from deadly secondhand smoke...even strippers (there has to be a line here about healthy looking lungs, but someone else can go there...).

Jeremy said...

Weak. Not interested in more legislative answers to problems people can solve themselves. If you don't like second hand smoke, don't go to places where people smoke. Simplicity at it's finest.

Liz @ SmokeFree Wisconsin said...

Jeremy's comment ignores the fact that some people don't have a "simple" choice about whether or not to be around secondhand smoke. There's no reason why bar and restaurant workers should be expected to work in an environment that causes cancer and heart disease. Legislating smoke-free environments guarantees that every worker's right to breathe smoke-free air is protected, and that's why smoke-free legislation is the preferred tool for dealing with this issue.