After reading the St. Paul Pioneer Press editorial page this morning.........I had to do a double take.
What's this? The pro-smoking ban local media of record calls out the Association of Nonsmokers' and MPAAT/ClearWay MN for using deceptive tactics? I nearly choked on my Cheerios.
The reason for the literary lashing?
"....data demonstrating the societal cost of smoking are sufficient to justify a smoking ban as a means to reduce both.....Having said that, we also regret an increasing tendency to exaggerate science, not just in the smoking ban debate, but virtually wherever science and public policy collide...."
Initially this MPAAT data was brought to us by Jason Hoppin and Tim Nelson of the Pioneer Press blog "City Hall Scoop" .
Clearing the Air later expanded upon that revelation with this post:
MPAAT now known as ClearWay Minnesota mistakenly provides a picture of honesty.
That honesty was in showing a snapshot of the customer losses after enactment of a smoking ban on St. Paul bars & restaurants.
The mistake? What MPAAT really wanted to do was show how much cleaner the air was since enactment of smoking bans......not hard to do once you remove 80% + of the customers though. (click here for the customer decrease after smoking bans data)
Update: The "customers before" heading is the customer count before smoking bans were enacted, the "customers after" is the customer count after smoking bans were enacted. Thus we have proof positive from MPAAT/Clearway Minnesota that smoking bans do indeed destroy the hospitality business in 7 out of 10 establishments.
Now, if the Pioneer Press editorial board is truly interested, as they claim, in scientific integrity they would highlight these two scientific air quality test results regarding secondhand smoke:
The first AQ testing is a story they partially covered back on September 4, 2004 in which the St. Louis Park, MN. Environmental Health Department conducted very sophisticated air quality testing. Clearing the Air has those results and comparative analysis to OSHA workplace air quality regulations here.
The second AQ testing was conducted by the American Cancer Society and again consists of the same very sophisticated air quality testing. Clearing the Air has those results and comparative analysis to OSHA workplace air quality regulations here.
.........Of course I did say if.
Update: Dr. Siegel covers this story in more depth at his weblog The Rest of the Story, more MPAAT scrutiny here.
(text in red = supporting data hyperlinks)