July 23 (UPI) -- One in four Americans would support a total ban on smoking, the highest percentage ever, a Gallup Poll released on Monday indicates.
Those supporting a smoking ban varied from 11 percent to 24 percent over the past three decades, Gallup said, but Monday's results indicate that 25 percent would support making smoking illegal, while 74 percent opposed such a move. While respondents are still opposed to a ban, support for it has moved upward.
Fifty-nine percent favor a ban on smoking in public, a figure which has remained consistent. The poll results come as the Department of Housing and Urban Development prepares to enforce a smoking ban, beginning at the end of July, in all public housing across the country.
Monday's survey results indicate that a majority of those 55 and older most favor smoking bans in public places, as well as 54 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats. Self-identified moderates and liberals prefer a public ban, compared to 55 percent of conservatives, as do 62 percent of women and 57 percent of men.
Those who favor making smoking illegal include 33 percent of Democrats and liberals, compared to 23 percent of conservatives and 17 percent of Republicans.
Only one country, Bhutan, currently prohibits the sale or production of tobacco products, and opportunities to smoke are hard to find, the poll said. It noted that Americans' support for bans on smoking in public places has not expanded since 2011.
Results for poll are based on cellphone and landline telephone interviews conducted from July 1 to July 11 with a random sample of 1,033 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling error is plus-or-minus four percentage points at the 95% confidence level.