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Tags: gallup | poll | cigarettes | young | vaping | pot

Gallup Survey: Young People Favor Vaping, Pot Over Cigarettes

a man vaping
(Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 28 November 2022 12:29 PM EST

The number of young adults who smoke cigarettes in America has dropped precipitously in the latest Gallup survey.

Only 12% of Americans aged 18 to 29 smoke cigarettes now compared to 35% in that age group who smoked from 2001-03.

Young adults were the group most likely to smoke cigarettes in the past and are now the second least likely group to smoke cigarettes, Gallup notes.

While cigarette smoking is declining sharply among young adults, an average 15% say they smoke e-cigarettes or vape.

Vaping is far more common among 18- to 29-year-olds, at 19%, than among older age groups, including 7% of 30- to 49-year-olds, 3% of 50- to 64-year-olds and less than 1% of those 65 and older. 

It is unclear to what extent e-cigarette usage has grown among young adults in recent years because Gallup did not ask the question before 2019.

Marijuana use in this age group has also increased, according to Gallup trends dating to 2013. Between 2019 and 2022, an average of 26% of young adults indicated they smoked marijuana, up from 17% between 2013 and 2015.

More than twice as many young adults now say they smoke marijuana as smoke cigarettes. Marijuana smoking is also more common among young adults than vaping.

Marijuana usage has also climbed in recent years among adults between the ages of 30 and 64, while it has been stable at a low level among senior citizens.

Four in 10 young adults smoke at least one of the three substances — cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or marijuana — including 3% who smoke all three, 11% who smoke marijuana only, 9% who smoke e-cigarettes only, and 3% who smoke cigarettes only. Another 14% smoke two of the three substances, with the majority of these young adults smoking e-cigarettes and marijuana but not cigarettes.

Young adults are increasingly smoking marijuana, perhaps because it is now legal to use in a growing number of states, and vaping. Both vaping and marijuana are more common activities for young adults than traditional cigarette smoking.

Young adults with a college degree have consistently been far less likely to smoke cigarettes than young adults who have not graduated college.

Both groups have shown significant declines in smoking over time, but the decline has been greater among young college nongraduates (25 points) than among young college graduates (10 points). Specifically, the rate has dropped from 39% to 14% among young adults without a college degree and from 17% to 7% among young college graduates.

Cigarette-smoking rates among men and women in the 18-to-29 age group have also declined, and by roughly similar amounts. Between 2001 and 2003, an average of 38% of young men and 32% of young women smoked cigarettes. The current figures are 13% and 12%, respectively.

Although many health researchers believe vaping is safer than smoking traditional cigarettes, they do not believe e-cigarettes are safe, in general, Gallup notes. The Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to try to limit marketing of vaping to minors.

Gallup interviews a minimum of 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older for each GPSS survey. Gallup interviews U.S. adults aged 18 and older living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia using a dual-frame design, which includes both landline and cellphone numbers. 

These trend data on smoking by age are based on aggregated data from Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits survey, conducted each year from 2001 to 2022 with the exception of 2020. Three-year aggregates provide sufficiently large samples to get stable estimates of young adults’ smoking habits over time, as well as the ability to analyze subgroups of 18- to 29-year-old adults.


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The number of young adults who smoke cigarettes in America has dropped precipitously in the latest Gallup survey.
gallup, poll, cigarettes, young, vaping, pot
Monday, 28 November 2022 12:29 PM
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