For the first time in a Gallup poll, slightly more adults in America say they smoke marijuana than cigarettes, although alcohol remains the most commonly consumed drug, by far.
Sixteen percent of adults in America say they use marijuana, compared to 11% percent who smoke cigarettes, according to the poll of 1,013 adults in July. Just a year ago, 16% called themselves cigarette smokers and 12% considered themselves consumed cannabis.
The shift in attitudes toward weed and tobacco began years ago. There are now 37 states that allow marijuana to be sold to registered patients and 19 states and the District of Columbia permitting recreational sales to adults, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Jersey has had a medical marijuana law since 2010 and a law for the sale of marijuana for personal use since 2021.
Meanwhile, cigarette use has steadily declined from the 1950s, when 45% of adults were smokers, Gallup said. Decades of medical research and anti-tobacco campaigns have convinced the public how dangerous smoking is. A 2019 Gallup poll found 83% of Americans believed smoking is “very harmful” and another 14% said it is “somewhat harmful.”
The “recognition of smoking’s downside is almost universal,” Gallup Senior Scientist Frank Newport wrote in an Aug. 26 article highlighting the findings of the poll.
“Smoking cigarettes is clearly on the decline and is most likely to become even more of a rarity in the years ahead,” Newport wrote.