Poll: Americans Think Smoking Pot Is Less Harmful Than Cigarettes

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A Gallup poll found that Americans think tobacco products are more harmful than marijuana and e-cigarettes.

AMERICANS VIEW marijuana and electronic cigarettes as significantly less harmful for users than tobacco products.

According to a new Gallup poll, Americans see four types of tobacco products, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars and pipes, as more dangerous to people who use them than marijuana and e-cigarettes, also known as vaping.

Eighty-two percent of people said cigarettes are very harmful, compared to 38 percent who said the same about e-cigarettes. Even fewer, 27 percent, said marijuana was very harmful. Only 1 percent of people said cigarettes were not at all harmful, compared to 5 percent and 18 percent who said the same thing about e-cigarettes and marijuana, respectively.

However, when asked if they thought the substances were somewhat harmful, more people, 29 percent, responded affirmatively regarding marijuana, meaning more than half of Americans, or 56 percent, believe marijuana is at least somewhat harmful. Combined with people who believe e-cigarettes are somewhat harmful, 35 percent, almost three-quarters of respondents, or 73 percent, believe vaping is at least somewhat harmful.

Health studies undertaken as states increasingly legalize marijuana have not indicated that smoking the drug poses the same risks of cancer and heart disease as tobacco, but virtually all the studies say more research is needed on the subject. E-cigarettes, meanwhile, have been cited as a benefit to adult smokers who use them as a substitute for traditional cigarettes but have been termed a health risk to young people and nonsmokers who pick up the habit.

Almost all, 96 percent, of Americans believe cigarettes are at least somewhat harmful to people who smoke them. Researchers even suggest that, as cigarettes become even more tightly regulated and laws governing marijuana use continue to loosen, a day could come in which more people report smoking pot than tobacco.


Of the other tobacco products, 71 percent said chewing tobacco was very harmful, 56 percent said the same about cigars and 52 percent said so about a pipe.

According to the poll, Americans’ use of cigarettes has significantly decreased, by about half since the 1980s. Still, at 13 percent, more Americans regularly smoke cigarettes than they do marijuana, at 5 percent, e-cigarettes, at 2 percent, cigars at percent, pipes at 1 percent, or chew tobacco at 2 percent. When it comes to these products, more people occasionally use them than regularly use them.

Eight percent of people occasionally smoke marijuana and cigars, 7 percent of people occasionally smoke cigarettes and e-cigarettes and 3 percent of people smoke a pipe and chew tobacco.

The poll was conducted from July 1 to 11 among 1,033 adults aged 18 and older.

Source: Health News

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