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New Poll Shows 70% of New Yorkers Favor City Smoke-Free Workplace Law

Support Strong Across Boroughs and Party Lines
September 22, 2003

New York, NY — By a margin of 70% to 27%, New York voters support the City's smoke-free workplace law, according to a new poll released today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (see attached poll).

'This poll shows that New Yorkers like working, living and playing in a smoke-free environment,' said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. 'This poll shows that New York can be both Fun City and a healthy city.'

'We now know that the negative attention to the smoke-free law has been overblown. The vast majority of New Yorkers support the law and think it makes the city more enjoyable,' added Louise Leavitt of the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City and the American Lung Association of the City of New York.

The survey found that eight out of ten New Yorkers surveyed believe that second-hand smoke is a health hazard (79 percent) and that we should give the law a chance to work before attempting to weaken it (78 percent). Other findings include:

  • The law enjoys strong support in every borough. The Bronx, 67-29; Brooklyn, 72-26; Queens, 75-22; Manhattan, 66-31; Staten Island, 66-34.
  • Republicans favor the law by a margin of 64-35 and Democrats support it 71-26.
  • Self-described liberals support the law, 72-26; conservatives like it, 71-28; and moderates support it, 65-27.
  • African-Americans favor the law 70-27; Latinos like it 72-24 ; Whites support the law 68-29.

The smoke-free workplace law went into effect in New York City in March, 2003. Supported by the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Association, the American Lung Association of the City of New York and the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, the law requires a smoke-free environment in nearly all workplaces, bars and restaurants where employees are exposed to the 69 carcinogens in secondhand smoke.

The survey of 800 registered voters throughout New York City was conducted from 8/24-8/29 by Global Strategy Group. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.

Read the complete survey.