Poll: Majority of Joplin voters support ‘Smoke-Free’ ordinance

(JOPLIN, Mo.) Joplin voters are majorly supportive of a ‘Smoke Free’ city ordinance, says a new poll released today by Smoke-Free Joplin. The poll says 59% of voters would be…

(JOPLIN, Mo.) Joplin voters are majorly supportive of a ‘Smoke Free’ city ordinance, says a new poll released today by Smoke-Free Joplin.

The poll says 59% of voters would be supportive of a city ordinance banning smoking in public places, including restaurants and public buildings. 36% opposed.

“Clearly, there is strong support for smoke-free policy change among Joplin voters,” said Josh Garrett, Field Government Relations Director, American Cancer Society. “As we’ve seen increasing smoke-free momentum across the nation, it’s easy to understand why voters here want the same protection in their own community.”

Nearly 90% of those polled said they thought second hand smoke was a health hazard.

19% of those polled said they thought smokers should be allowed to smoke in public venues.

Opponents of the ordinance say business owners, not the government, should have the right to decide whether or not smoking is allowed in their restaurants and bars, and the smoking ban will drive customers and jobs away, forcing restaurants and bars to close.

According to the polling research, 12% say they would eat out less if the ordinance was enacted.

Joplin’s hospitals, Freeman Health System and St. John’s Regional Medical Center, have united in support of a 100% comprehensive Smoke-Free Indoor Air Policy for Joplin.

Both sides of the debate will be out in full force Monday night in Joplin. The Joplin City Council will be holding a public forum on the issue. Both sides turned to social media to encourage supporters show up to the Council’s meeting.

The survey, commisoned by Smoke Free Joplin, was conducted by Fako & Associates, Inc. of 400 registered voters in Joplin, between Oct.11-14, 2010.

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