Despite being prohibited in most areas for the past couple of decades, cannabis has been the most-used drug in the world for quite a while. As of July 2022, an estimated 200 million people used cannabis across the globe. Legalization efforts have significantly increased access to the controversial plant, allowing millions to legally purchase and consume cannabis with no legal repercussions.
Dozens of American states, as well as territories around the world, now have legal cannabis markets. As a result, more people than ever are using cannabis, and one industry that has dominated the recreational drug space has begun to feel the heat. According to a pair of recent polls by Gallup, more Americans now smoke marijuana than smoke cigarettes. The surveys also provided more evidence of an ongoing reduction in the number of Americans who smoke cigarettes.
According to a August 2022 Gallup poll, 16% of the survey participants reported smoking marijuana compared to 12% in a similar poll from last year. Although Gallup noted that this increase was not statistically significant, it highlights a growing acceptance of cannabis in American society.
In addition, 11% of Americans who were surveyed in a different poll that was published in July said they had smoked tobacco cigarettes. In comparison, 16% of survey participants said they had indulged in a cigarette in the week in a 2021 poll. It is a significantly larger drop from the 45% of adults who admitted to smoking cigarettes in the 1950s.
Although tobacco is federally legal, it is considered to be more harmful than cannabis and known to cause health issues, including heart and lung disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In fact, one of the reasons cannabis smokers have eclipsed cigarette smokers is that as people are becoming more cognizant of the health effects of smoking cigarettes, more are quitting and fewer are picking the habit up.
The CDC estimates that the number of “active” smokers in America has gone down from 20.9% in 2005 to 12.5% in 2020. Furthermore, the July Gallup poll found that three in 10 nonsmokers used to smoke cigarettes, representing a 30% drop in the Americans who smoke tobacco cigarettes. Ultimately, the number of people who are quitting cigarettes has even eclipsed those who are taking up cannabis, the poll found.
Writing for Gallup, Dr. Frank Newport said it is clear that cigarette use is declining and will become less prevalent as time passes. He touted increased public awareness of the negative health effects of smoking cigarettes as well as ongoing government efforts to curb cigarette use as major reasons behind the decline in smoking. Newport also noted that plenty of states now ban public smoking, making the habit more of an inconvenience than a luxury.
As more people learn about the benefits of marijuana, established entities such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) could find themselves with a much bigger client base to serve in the years to come.
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