Support for Wisconsin smoking ban growsMADISON (AP) — Support for a statewide smoking ban covering all bars, restaurants and workplaces is increasing, a new survey shows.
MADISON (AP) — Support for a statewide smoking ban covering all bars, restaurants and workplaces is increasing, a new survey shows.
Sixty-nine percent of survey respondents said they support such a law. That was up from 64 percent who were surveyed in February 2007.
The survey, sponsored by groups that support a ban but conducted jointly by Republican and Democratic polling firms, was released Tuesday.
Gov. Jim Doyle along with anti-smoking groups pushed for a ban this year. Under opposition from a lobbying group representing bars, lawmakers failed to reach a deal before this year’s session ended last month.
Six Wisconsin communities have already passed their own smoking bans, including Marshfield last week and Eau Claire in March. The other smoke-free communities are Madison, Appleton, the Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood and the Madison suburb of Shorewood Hills.
Doyle and supporters say Wisconsin should pass a ban, especially given that neighboring Illinois and Minnesota have done so.
The survey shows that 78 percent believe smoking will be prohibited in workplaces across Wisconsin within the next two years.
Opposition to a ban from smokers also appears to be dropping. Last year’s survey found that 64 percent of smokers opposed a smoke-free law, while that decreased to just 49 percent in the latest survey.
The poll also found that support cuts across party lines, with 73 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Republicans favoring a ban.
The Wisconsin survey was conducted by the Republican-leaning Public Opinion Strategies and the Democratic-leaning Mellman Group. The poll was sponsored by the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and SmokeFree Wisconsin.
The random telephone survey of 500 Wisconsin voters was conducted March 12 through March 16 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.