New Gallup polling data indicates a significant shift in American smoking habits, with more individuals reporting marijuana use than cigarette consumption. The survey, released on Monday, reveals that 17 percent of Americans now admit to smoking cannabis, surpassing the 12 percent who reported smoking cigarettes in the past week.
Notably, the generational divide is striking, particularly among young adults aged 18-34, where 26 percent reported cannabis use compared to a mere 5 percent who smoked cigarettes. The trend continues in the 35-54 age group, where 18 percent admitted to marijuana use, outpacing the 16 percent who smoked cigarettes. Conversely, adults aged 55 and older showed a slight preference for cigarette smoking (13 percent) over cannabis use (11 percent).
Gallup acknowledges that the question specifically addressing smoking may not fully represent overall cannabis use due to the diverse array of non-smokable products like edibles, tinctures, and vapes.
The survey reveals a substantial increase in reported marijuana smoking since 2013, with Gallup noting that age plays a significant role in usage likelihood. Approximately 50 percent of Americans now claim to have tried cannabis at least once, a notable shift from the mere 4 percent who admitted to experimenting with marijuana in 1969.
Despite the upward trend in marijuana use, the 2023 data showed only a one-percentage-point increase over 2022 levels. In contrast, a separate survey on cigarette-related habits, initially released in August, highlighted historic lows in cigarette smoking rates, attributed in part to increased awareness of tobacco's harmful effects.
As state legalization efforts gain momentum, support for marijuana reform reaches a record 70 percent among Americans, according to Gallup. The evolving perception of marijuana as less harmful than alcohol, cigarettes, and other tobacco products has contributed to its growing acceptance, as indicated in separate surveys conducted by Gallup and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
With the moral acceptability of smoking cannabis reaching 70 percent in a 2020 Gallup poll, surpassing other controversial issues, the evolving landscape suggests a transformative shift in societal attitudes toward marijuana use.
This story was originally covered by Marijuana Moment.