Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More Americans Want to Ban Smoking in Public Places

A growing number of Americans want to ban smoking in public places, according to Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits poll. Fifty-five percent of Americans say they support banning smoking in public places, while 22 percent think smoking should be illegal everywhere. These numbers are a dramatic rise from 2007, when only 40 percent wanted to ban smoking in public, and 12 percent wanted to ban it outright. Nonwhites and individuals with a high school education or less are most likely to support smoking bans, while smokers and people from the Midwest are most likely to disapprove of any sort of ban.

The trend coincides with America’s opinion about the harmful effects of smoking and secondhand smoke. More Americans acknowledge tobacco’s deadly consequences: 91 percent believe smoking causes lung cancer, 81 percent believe smoking causes heart disease, and 59 percent view secondhand smoke as very harmful. Fifty years ago, fewer than half of Americans believed smoking could cause these health problems.

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