This survey idea has really taken off. I now have 12 or 13 volunteer pollsters, maybe more. And I’ve set up a new private blog for discussion of the questionnaire wording and design. It will also serve as HQ when the survey starts being done, and results start coming back. Invites have been sent to all the volunteers, and about half of them have showed up there.

So this blog will revert to normal over the next few days. Most of the survey discussion will take place over there.

But I’m still open to suggestions and advice. There was a very interesting anonymous suggestion that instead of using checkboxes, I should just use a simple line for people to mark. The more I thought about it, the better the idea seemed (with the slight variation of having a scale along it so that it could be easily read.)

Anyway, I’m very excited about the whole thing. I started off suggesting that that pollsters might only poll 10 or 20 smokers. But on reflection this seems a bit of an underestimate. In a city, a pollster might easily poll that number every day. Maybe they could easily poll 100 smokers or 200 smokers in total. And with 12 pollsters, that would be a survey of 1200 smokers in 5 different countries. And asking them questions about what always seems to me to be the really terrible thing about smoking bans: the damage they do to people’s social lives. To the best of my knowledge, this a question that Tobacco Control never asks. The only thing they seem to be concerned about is whether smoking bans make smokers give up smoking. Nothing else matters. And maybe that doesn’t matter either.

I think it’ll be a triumph if we can organise a poll in several different countries, and carry it out, and collate and process the results, and publish them. It’ll be a triumph of online organisation.

But of course, we haven’t got there yet. So it may actually turn out to be an example of how not to do it. We will see.

But even if we totally screw it up, we’ll learn from the experience, and see how to do it better next time.

Anyway, it’s a rather wonderful thing that, quite spontaneously, a bunch of people from all over the world have started working together to try to make this survey fly.

About Frank Davis

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12 Responses to Phew!!

  1. Wiel Maessen says:

    During my study at the university I have been teached how to set up surveys and how to statistically process the results. So if you need my help, just call. I even have statistical software installed that I can use to process the results.

  2. waltc says:

    When you get this going, do you want me to see if I can contact smokers rights groups in other US cities to see if volunteer pollsters can be found in places other than mine (NYC)?

  3. smooooker says:

    2 suggestions (if they haven’t been mentioned): National signifier as to be able to determine impact based on type of ban, and a tab with – let’s say – the five most prominent links from your blogroll ;)

  4. Frank this is off topic but wow!

    MALALAPIPE 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
    NON SMOKERS ENCROACH ON OUR SMOKING ZONES, and then its all about their rights again, i smoke at my desk, the last complainant was a finance guy with our client, he now waits outside after i kicked him out for doing the “cough” get stuffed, my office, you can have all the fresh air you like out in the rain or blistering heat.

    That dude has my respect!

  5. truckerlyn says:

    Hi Frank, left a comment yesterday on your Survey post and would like to volunteer to be part of the survey.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Sorry, I didn’t notice it, somehow. I’m a bit busy right this second, but I’ll get back to you. What part of the world do you live in?

      • truckerlyn says:

        Hi Frank, Probably my fault, was in a bit of a rush before going to work yesterday and linked in through Simon Clark, which took me to your blog of 9 May and it was that one I left my comment on, saying I would like to volunteer.
        Anyway, I am in Pershore, Worcestershire, am 55 years old and my life has been devastated thanks to the ban. Won’t bore you, but in a nutshell had always coped with mild depression, never needing medication. Since just prior to the ban I have been seeing a psychiatrist regularly, have been on and am still on medication and have attempted to take my life on several occasions. It has also been very damaging to my relationship.

        As a brief aside; I drive trucks and was delivering to Asda CDC (Central Distribution Centre) in Wakefield yesterday. In their smoking shelter was a sign offering their ‘colleagues’ (that is what they call their staff) the chance to quit smoking and saying that apart from NRT there is also Champix and Zyban on offer. When I went to get my paperwork I commented that even the NHS in this part of the world are trying to kill off smokers and advised that these drugs were prone to cause depression in people who had not previously suffered and were even responsible for suicides. He looked bemused! I said check it out on the internet. He probably won’t!

        Anyway, your initiative is brilliant and I am all for coming on board, if you will have me.

        Cheers and best wishes

        Lyn – Truckerlyn

  6. Pingback: ISIS Survey Report | Frank Davis

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