PUBLIC OPINION > About Half the Population Has Tried Smoking
Living 2012/05/18 21:00:00
We always hear about the negative effects of tobacco, but the industry is still enoromous, and about 16% to 19% of the population still consider themselves smokers. Fortunately, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that teen smoking was down to a low of 8.3 percent the same year. We were interested in finding out more, so we asked the public a simple question: Have you ever tried smoking?
With more than 500 votes in, the results were pretty much split down the middle. We're not able to show how much respondents smoke -- it could have been a single drag, or it could have been a 30-year addiction. But based on comments, pretty much everyone hates it. The people who haven't tried it said they never will; the people who have tried it usually said it was nasty, or that they wish they could stop. But that's just the surface. We're more interested in breaking this down.
Let's filter out the smoker vote. (No offense, guys, it's just for perspective!) First thing's first: Every single smoker said they'd smoked. In terms of reliability, that's an excellent sign. When their vote was removed, the portion of voters who had tried smoking dropped to 40%. This could include smokers who don't realize they're smokers, but it's pretty high. Still, we don't recommend risking it.
Smoking While Drinking
You may have seen in surveys or online dating profiles that when asking if you're a smoker, it sometimes includes an "Only when drinking" option. Here's why: Drinkers were 28% more likely than nondrinkers to have tried smoking. This is likely the result of reduced inhibitions and the environment. Alcohol and tobacco just seem to go together. At least, they did until smokes were banned from bars. But that's for another poll.
Teens Don't Smoke
Now for the stat you've all been waiting for. Are teens really smoking less? Unfortunately, we don't have any past stats to compare with, but teens were way less likely to have smoked than adults. However, we should point out that this could just be because they haven't had as much time to give in. That percent rose sharply until about the age of 25, when approximately two-thirds of voters had tried smoking. After that, it didn't shift at all. Make it to 25, and you're home free... Er, your home's smoke-free... Whatever.
If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about smoking. We'd love to hear from you!
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