Today in the United States, more people openly admit to having used marijuana in the past week than ever before—and it’s likely to continue increasing for years to come.
According to a new poll conducted by Gallup from July 5 to 26, the number of people in the United States who use marijuana has surpassed the number of people who smoke cigarettes for the first time on record.
Only 11% of Americans report that they smoke cigarettes, whereas 45% of Americans said they smoked cigarettes in the middle of the 1950s.
Meanwhile, 16% of Americans now report that they are regular users of marijuana, while 48% say they have experimented with the drug at some point in their life.
In 1969, only 4% of Americans admitted to having ever used marijuana.
The way people feel about these substances has also changed significantly.
83% of Americans in 2019 thought that cigarettes were “very harmful” to smokers, while roughly 14% believed they were “somewhat harmful.”
In 2013, nine out of ten adults believed that smoking caused cancer. A 2015 study of smokers revealed that 91% of them wished they had never started.
“Smoking cigarettes is clearly on the decline and is most likely to become even more of a rarity in the years ahead,” said Gallup Senior Scientist Dr. Frank Newport.
“This reflects both public awareness of its negative effects and continuing government efforts at all levels to curtail its use,” he added.
A survey conducted in July found that 53% of respondents believed people who use marijuana experience positive effects as a result.
However, alcohol continues to be the substance that is used the most, and this trend has not changed for quite some time.
The most recent study conducted in the United States found that 67% of Americans drank alcohol, which is up from 63% in 1939.
A little less than a third of people don’t drink alcohol at all.
“In sum, American adults are significantly more likely to use alcohol than either marijuana or cigarettes. And while alcohol consumption has remained relatively constant over the decades, cigarette use is now less than a fourth of what it was in the 1950s,” Gallup said.
“Americans’ regular use of marijuana is modestly higher than cigarettes at this point, but the trend over recent decades in marijuana use is upward.”
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