JSOnline had a piece entitled “One year later, smoking ban critics lose steam” But have we? Judging by the comments, not by a damn site.

Keep breathing easy, Wisconsin – Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.

Since the law took effect July 5, 2010, most Wisconsinites, including former detractor Gov. Scott Walker, have grown to accept or have embraced the ban.

A survey released last week by advocacy group SmokeFree Wisconsin found that 75% of respondents supported the ban, up from 69% in 2008 when state lawmakers were still debating the issue.

Of course we have been over the carefully crafted polls conducted by Smoke Free Wisconsin. But as I have repeatedly said, the free market is the ultimate pollster and it tells a different story. The free market public opinion poll tells the real story. Here is sheriff Nehls words.


Nehls estimates that about 75 percent of tavern owners in Dodge County abide by the terms of the smoking ban. However, the remaining 25 percent that knowingly choose to ignore the law are drawing the resentment — and business — of those that follow the law.

“We now have this rivalry of bar owners turning in other bar owners. That’s what the fight is about now. You’re either a business that complies with the law and has no business as a result or you’re breaking the law to get more business,” Nehls said. “And we’re going to bring that to an end.”

How’s that for a real life poll, not a carefully crafted poll to obtain a predetermined result. But a live poll of real people living their lives.