Today’s recreational smoking trends show young people are opting out cigarettes for cannabis.
A Gallup survey shows that young people today are twice as likely to smoke marijuana as they are to smoke cigarettes.
The study was based off interviews with 3,545 adults with a 4-5% margin of error.
It shows that cigarette smoking in adults 18-29 years old went down from 15% between 2016 and 2018 to a new low of just 12% between 2019 and 2022.
The study also revealed that 26% of adults in that age group smoke marijuana as compared to 21% in the earlier study period.
A breakdown of the general population shows that 27% of Americans smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and marijuana. 7% of this group smoke only marijuana, 9% smoke only cigarettes, and 3% smoke only e-cigarettes.
But the younger generation are the ones that are most likely to smoke cannabis and not cigarettes as young people are opting out cigarettes for cannabis.
Why Young People are Opting Out Cigarettes for Cannabis
The trend of young people are opting out cigarettes for cannabis can be a result of various factors. These include campaigns that emphasize the harms of cigarette smoking as well as raised awareness of the benefits and reduced stigmas associated with marijuana smoking.
Young people are opting out cigarettes for cannabis may also be because they feel more comfortable smoking marijuana now that it’s becoming legalized in more states and countries. New legislation may also make them more willing to admit they smoke marijuana when asked for study purposes.
“Public health officials would be encouraged by the steep decline in cigarette smoking over the past two decades, a trend driven largely by plummeting rates among young adults. But 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,” Gallup stated bringing some insight as to why young people are opting out cigarettes for cannabis.
Other Data the Study Reveals
The study also revealed that 40% of people 18-19 vape or smoke something accounting for the largest group of smokers. But they are four times more likely to smoke only marijuana (11%) as they are to smoke only cigarettes (3%).
This compares to people in the 30-49 age group with 11% smoking only cigarettes and 8% smoking only cannabis.
Other Gallup Surveys on Smoking
Gallup released other survey data in August showing that, for the first time, more Americans were admitting to smoking cannabis or eating cannabis edibles than those who said they smoked cigarettes in the past week.
While that study didn’t break down its data based on age groups, it released earlier data in 2019 showing that young people were more likely to smoke marijuana than cigarettes. The new data shows an increased gap proving that even more young people are opting out cigarettes for cannabis.
It should be noted that these older surveys focus on ‘past week’ usage whereas newer surveys are more general and do not consider a timeline.
Respondents were also asked about marijuana smoking which may exclude other types of cannabis use such as edibles, oils, pills, etc.
Gallup Survey on Cannabis Legalization
A Gallup survey on drug legalization trends shows that 7 out of 10 Americans feel that marijuana should be legalized regardless of political party and age demographics.
This is consistent with other recent polls that show only 1 in 10 Americans feel marijuana should be completely illegal.
Another survey commissioned by Fox News and the Associated Press conducted before the election showed that 63% of Americans supported nationwide legalization.
The survey also found majority support for ending cannabis prohibition in two states that had voted down legalization initiatives in the November elections. This shows that the measures may have failed due to disagreements regarding specific provisions rather than the actual concept of legalization.
A poll released last month shows that most Americans support President Biden’s decision to grant pardons to people found guilty of marijuana possession and would like to see their local governments follow suit.
Unsurprisingly, many of the young people are opting out cigarettes for cannabis are supporting efforts to legalize marijuana.
Gallup Survey on Weed Approval
Data also shows that Americans are approving weed in general. A Gallup survey released in August showed that more than twice as many Americans say cannabis has a positive impact on society as compared to those who say the same about alcohol.
These findings are consistent with another poll released in March showing more Americans think people should switch to cannabis and drink less alcohol as compared to those who think making the switch would be a bad thing.
A change in views is apparent when considering the results of a 2020 Gallup survey that showed 86% of Americans viewing alcohol as morally acceptable as compared to 70% who felt the same way about marijuana.
New data makes it clear that young people are opting out cigarettes for cannabis. The increased acceptance and emphasis on health benefits are making marijuana a better choice for newer generations. This shows that the industry may continue to thrive in the coming years.