Young Adults Dumping Tobacco For Cannabis And So Are Their Parents, New Gallup Poll Finds

Zinger Key Points
  • Young people love to research online where they learn tobacco smoke is bad for one's health and nicotine is addictive.
  • Public health officials say drop in tobacco smoking is because young adults quit cigarettes or never start.

The percentage of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes has dropped to a new low of 11%, thanks to a sharp decline in smoking rates among young adults who are choosing healthier habits such as cannabis consumption. 

Twenty-six percent of people between 18 and 29, that is older Gen Zers and younger Millennials, say they smoke cannabis, up from 17% in 2015, found a new Gallup Poll released Monday. 

That’s more than double the number of young adults who smoke cigarettes, which has dropped from 35% in 2003 to 25% a decade ago to 12% today. 

The Kids Are Alright

In contrast to the decline in cigarette smoking among young adults, cannabis consumption in this group increased, according to Gallup trends dating to 2013. 

More than twice as many young adults now say they smoke marijuana as smoke cigarettes. Cannabis smoking is also more common among young adults than vaping.

“Public health officials would be encouraged by the steep decline in cigarette smoking over the past two decades, a trend driven largely by plummeting smoking rates among young adults,” Gallup’s analysis says. 

Gallup pointed out that “[y]oung 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.”

It might also be the case that young people love to look things up online. This puts them in contact with numerous studies confirming that tobacco smoke produces deleterious effects on one’s body over the long term and that nicotine is a highly addictive chemical found in cigarettes.

Mom, Dad And Grandparents Also Consuming More Weed

Marijuana usage has also climbed in recent years among adults between the ages of 30 and 64.

Among seniors, aged 60 to 88 cannabis use has quadrupled in the past seven years. This sharp rise could in part be due to studies showing improved memory, decreased brain inflammation and increased hippocampal neurogenesis in older brains stemming from cannabis use. Or it could simply be that seniors are enjoying the effects of weed, like their younger counterparts.

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

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