9 Jun, 2012 @ 13:10
1 min read

Spaniards support smoking ban

THE vast majority of Spaniards are in favour of the smoking ban.

A new survey by the Family and Community Medicine Society found 78 per cent of Spaniards to be against smoking again in bars.

Moreover 82 per cent believe the ban on tobacco in public spaces is correct.

James Bryce

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  1. I think Michael J McFadden said it best:

    Something to be aware of when you see these “polls” claiming that “most people want a ban.” You’ll note that the numbers almost always come in at between 75 and 80%. That’s not an accident. These polls are usually bought and paid for by antismoking interests that are awash in tax money and can afford to hire the “best” pollsters to produce the results they want.

    To give an example of what I am talking about, just visit the webpages of The Mellman Group. Check out their blurb about what they offer:

    “Some pollsters simply report on opinions. We use the most sophisticated analytical tools available to understand the motivations of consumers and voters so we can intervene in their decision-making processes to produce the outcomes our clients want.”

    Without knowing and intelligently evaluating the survey details and processes themselves, surveys are meaningless, particularly when sponsored by an advocacy group.

  2. It is also true Harleyrider, that some people will only believe polls that support their own point of view. There is nothing complicated about conducting research with a large enough, properly-weighted sample to produce accurate results on such a simple issue. Personally, I do not believe it is at all surprising that almost 4 out of 5 spanish people are in favour of the smoking ban. But then I dont think it goes far enough. Like many people, I like to eat outside at this time of year and last night was surrounded by smokers on the terrace which, for me, is very unpleasant when I am eating.

  3. Half the bars in our village have no problem at all with the smoking ban, they’ve shut down. Not all the fault of the smoking ban but combined with the economic down turn the end result is they are out of business and the people who used to work in them are out of a job and not paying any taxes. That’ll show them.

  4. @Steve Driven us outside in all weathers now you want to drive us out of existence altogether just because “you” don’t like it. Just as well we don’t take that attitude to everything that annoys us. God the arrogance of some people is staggering, I bet you are one of these people who has an opinion on absolutely everything and your opinion is the right one of course.

  5. Fred, harleyrider sure is an “astroturfer,” all right. Here he is from the US, trying to diss the opinions of 75% of Spaniards.

    That 75% is so consistent because it is repeated over and over not just in surveys but in actual votes, where smoking bans often pass by 70-30.

    Those opinion polls don’t need doctoring–they’re consistent because they’re TRUE!

    this harleyrider astroturfer has to diss them because they go against his own propaganda.

  6. Steve, I agree with you. I would like to see seperate smoking and non smoking areas on terraces. Peter, its not just a case of being annoying or vindictively driving smokers out of existence, its unhealthy and unpleasant. I dont think there is anything wrong with a little consideration for others. Why should my child breathe your smoke because we want to sit outside in the “fresh” air?

  7. Becky: your child can breathe plenty of clean, fresh air INSIDE the bar, now forcibly sanitized by the smoking ban. It was sanitized by and for pecksniffs like you so that you could have the sadistic enjoyment of seeing people you don’t like driven out into the cold and wet. Oh, but wait–the weather’s nice and you want to be outside, but those horrible smokers are out there. Well, tough sh*t. I’ll be happy to show you consideration when you show me some. Here’s a hint: telling me I should conform or disappear is not a way to do it.

    If in fact 75-80% of Spaniards support smokefree bars, lift the ban and see what happens. If that number is accurate, most bars will remain smokefree in order to attract the majority of business. But we can tell that it’s not so by the fact that pre-ban, there were few if any nonsmoking bars. People may have opened them, but for some mysterious reason, the 75-80% of Spaniards who would have preferred them stayed away.

  8. After a bit of searching this is the title of the article from semFYC (Family and Community Medicine Society): “El 78% de los españoles vería mal que se permitiese de nuevo fumar en hostelería.” Anyone who wants to read the original can now find it easily.

    This may be the most important thing to keep in mind about the survey:

    “Estos datos proceden de una encuesta realizada en centros de atención primaria de toda España a más de 4.000 ciudadanos, entre los cuales había fumadores, no fumadores y ex fumadores.”

    Translation: “The data comes from a survey of primary care centers in Spain of more than 4,000 citizens, among whom were smokers, nonsmokers and former smokers.”

    Anyone with a background in statistics or research methodology will instantly see the problem here. It isn’t necessarily who funded the study or if they skewed the results (we don’t know – they didn’t share that with us). That could be a separate issue. Since we don’t have the survey to review then we can’t determine if it was biased to reflect the interests of semFYC (an org that has campaigned against smoking in public spaces). Could be. Maybe. Maybe not. It really doesn’t matter – see below.

    The big issue is actually that it isn’t a random or representative survey. Assuming that the survey was fine, the data pool is bad. The reason is because they are asking individuals in primary care centers, i.e. doctors, nurses, medical health professionals, etc. It isn’t a survey taken from a random selection of the Spanish population, so you can’t actually conclude “The Spanish want…” The best you can conclude is “Spanish doctors and nurses want…”

    Imagine a similar study with the title “78% of the Spanish population believe firearms should be less restricted and easier to purchase.” And then you read the methodology; “The data comes from a survey of gun shops, hunting clubs and shooting societies in Spain of more than 4,000 citizens, among whom are current gun owners, not gun owners or former gun owners.”

    Full disclosure: I am a lifelong non-smoker.

    Becky – “Why should my child breathe your smoke because we want to sit outside in the “fresh” air?”

    You’re responsible for your child, not anyone else. If you don’t want your child around smokers then the solution is to find a restaurant/bar/venue/etc. that bans smoking or has nonsmoker options. The solution isn’t to take a liberty away from an entire population, including the bar and restaurant owners that you are a guest of. If someone smokes then you move. You don’t expect the world to move for you just because you spawned.

    Chris – “If in fact 75-80% of Spaniards support smokefree bars, lift the ban and see what happens. If that number is accurate, most bars will remain smokefree in order to attract the majority of business.”

    Great point. If a large majority of the Spanish population preferred smoke free bars then it wouldn’t need to be enforced artificially. We would also have seen a market for smoke free bars pre-ban. I don’t remember any smoke free bars before the ban (although I am sure there were one or two in a tourist area).

  9. Stop it, you smokin’ dudes. The game’s over. Your ball is burst. The health of people in general is far more imporetant than your personal desire to stick poison down your throat. By all means, keep on doing it until you die and may that be at an exceptionally old age with all your limbs, veins and lungs intact. Just smoke your poison at home. That’s all.

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