The Politics of Smoking: Findings or Agendas?
Enz, Cathy A.; Corsun, David L.; Young, Cheri A.
[Excerpt] The April 1996 issue of the Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly presented our findings of a study on consumer dining attitudes and behavior after passage of the New York City Smoke-Free-Air Act. Since that time the study has prompted both public praise and criticism. While some have used this preliminary study to encourage legislators to enact smoking bans, others have prepared detailed negative critiques. The Advocacy Institute, for instance, has used the study to support its agenda of encouraging the passage of smoke-free policies in local communities. In contrast, the National Smokers Alliance (an advocacy group for the tobacco industry) commissioned a critique from the Evans Group, a consulting firm whose president, Michael Evans, is a clinical (teaching) professor at Northwestern University. While it is the case in the world of political debate that different sides on an issue use persuasion and may even hire consultants to help show the merits of their position, the best way to gather and use information on important social issues is to conduct a number of research studies. All studies have limitations, and the more research conducted the greater the value of the resulting accumulated knowledge. We noted in our April 1996 paper and now restate that this study is a first attempt to compile consumer-behavior data. We stated, ‘The conclusions drawn from these data should be treated as preliminary. Similar results based on the collection of additional data in the future would strengthen the conclusions drawn herein.”
hotel industry; smoking; consumer behavior
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