Majority of Americans Say No to Public Smoking

By Kenneth Garger 07/21/11

But Gallup poll shows continued opposition to cigarette prohibition.

outdoor smoke.jpg
Smokers held captive in their homes?
Photo via cfnews13

In 2001, only 39% of Americans supported a public smoking ban. According to a new Gallup study, that figure has now jumped to 59%. The favorable American opinion comes at a time when states left and right are passing wide-ranging smoke-free laws. The increasing intolerance for smoking in public may help explain the groundbreaking outdoor smoking ban introduced just months ago in New York City. As The Fix reported back in early June, it became illegal to smoke at any park, beach, or pedestrian mall in the city of New York, although so far the ban has been widely ignored by citizens and police officers alike. While Americans are apparently ready to tolerate the prospect of not lighting up in the great outdoors, the thought of cigarettes becoming completely illegal still doesn’t sit so well. Just 19% of Americans surveyed said they would favor a cigarette sale prohibition. When asked this same question back in 1990, only 14% supported an all-out ban. The figure has, essentially, remained stagnant. While smokers are increasingly being confined to their private property, the public doesn’t have the stomach for cigarette prohibition. 

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
ken garger.jpg

Ken Garger is a reporter for the New York Post. You can follow him on Twitter.