The poll found that 24 percent of adults age 18-29 years old said that they “regularly” or “occasionally” use or smoke marijuana. For all adult age groups overall, 13 percent of Americans said that they smoke pot, with 5 percent saying they used it regularly and 8 percent claiming occasional use.
Thirteen percent of those 30-49 years old said that they were cannabis users. The poll showed that 11 percent of adults 50-64 years old were weed smokers and for those 65 and older the figure was 6 percent.
By geographic region, more adults in the West, at 20 percent, admitted to using cannabis than any other area of the country. All other regions reported significantly lower and similar rates of cannabis use. In the East, 12 percent of adults said that they smoked weed. In the South, the figure was 11 percent, while 10 percent of Midwesterners said that they were pot smokers.
All three coastal states in the West, California, Oregon, and Washington, plus Nevada and Colorado, have legalized the recreational use and sale of cannabis.
Use of Tobacco Products Also Gauged
The same study also asked respondents about their use and opinions of tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and vaping. The poll found that 20 percent of adults nationwide smoke cigarettes and that 9 percent of them vape.
Nine percent said that they smoked cigars. Cigar smoking showed a wide gender gap. For men, 15 percent said they were cigar smokers, while only 3 percent of women said the same.
Five percent of adults, 8 percent of men and 1 percent of women, said that they used chewing tobacco. Use of a pipe was even lower, with 4 percent of adults saying they did so.
The poll’s respondents were also asked about their opinion regarding the relative safety of tobacco and cannabis. Overall, they judged marijuana to be less harmful than tobacco.
Almost all of the respondents, at 96 percent, believed that cigarettes are harmful. Of those, 82 percent said that cigarettes are “very harmful.” Fourteen percent said that cigarettes are “somewhat harmful.”
In contrast, 63 percent of those surveyed believe that marijuana is harmful. Twenty-seven percent believe marijuana is “very harmful,” while 29 percent believe it is “somewhat harmful.” Twenty-four percent believe marijuana is “not too harmful.” Another 18 percent said that they thought marijuana was “not at all” harmful.
A majority of respondents also said that cigars, chewing tobacco, and pipe tobacco were all “very harmful.” Chewing tobacco, at 71 percent, was viewed as the most harmful after cigarettes. Cigars followed at 56 percent while 52 percent believe smoking a pipe is “very harmful.” Vaping e-cigarettes was viewed as relatively safer, with 38 percent saying they are “very harmful.”
The poll was conducted by Gallup July 1-11, 2018. Telephone interviews were conducted with 1,033 adults 18 years of age or older living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.