Gallup Poll Finds More Americans Smoke Marijuana Than Cigarettes

More Americans smoke marijuana than tobacco, according to the results of a recent Gallup poll. The poll also found that the use of cannabis in the United States is at an all-time high, jumping by a third in just one year.

The Gallup poll, which was released on August 16, shows that 16% of those surveyed said that they smoke marijuana, up from 12% in a similar poll only one year ago, although Gallup said the change was not statistically significant. By contrast, only 11% said that they had smoked a tobacco cigarette in the previous week in a separate poll published in July. That figure was down from a year ago when 16% said that they had smoked a cigarette in the past week and a significant decrease from the peak in the 1950s, when 45% of adults polled said that they were smokers.

Both metrics in the most recent polling set new records. The percentage of those who said they smoke marijuana was the highest since Gallup began asking the question in 2013, while the portion of those who said they smoked a tobacco cigarette in the previous week was the lowest recorded since the public opinion analytics company began keeping track of smokers in 1944. Nearly half (48%) of U.S. adults say they have tried marijuana at some time in their lives, up from only 4% in 1969, when Gallup first started surveying rates of lifetime marijuana use. The same year, 40% of Americans said that they had smoked a cigarette in the past week.

The number of cannabis consumers continues to rise as more and more jurisdictions in the United States reform their marijuana laws. Cannabis is now legal in some form in 38 states, and six are likely to vote on marijuana legalization measures in this year’s general election in November. According to Gallup’s latest measurements, 68% of U.S. adults think marijuana should be legal, tying the record high.

More Young People Smoke Weed Than Older Americans

Young Americans are smoking cannabis at the highest rate, with nearly a third of adults under the age of 35 saying that they smoke marijuana. Among adults aged 35 to 54, 16% said they use cannabis, while only 10% of those 55 and older said that they smoke marijuana. Only 8% of young adults said that they smoked a tobacco cigarette in the previous week, while 10% of those aged 35 to 54 and 14% of older Americans said they had smoked a cigarette in the preceding seven days.

But despite the popularity of marijuana policy reform measures, Americans are split on the effect cannabis has on society in the United States. The most recent Gallup marijuana poll also found that half of Americans think marijuana has an overall negative effect, while 48% said that marijuana’s effect on society is positive.

The results are from Gallup’s annual July consumption survey, which was conducted from July 5 through July 26. The poll surveyed 1,013 U.S. adults on their use of marijuana and tobacco, with a reported margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

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