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Gallup: Most Americans support raising age to buy tobacco

By Sommer Brokaw
Most Americans favor raising the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21, Gallup said Thursday. File Photo by ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock
Most Americans favor raising the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21, Gallup said Thursday. File Photo by ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Most Americans want to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21, Gallup said Thursday.

Seventy-three percent of those surveyed said that the minimum age should be raised to 21, Gallup said.

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Majority support was seen across varying age and gender groups, nonsmokers and smokers.

Senior citizens, 65 or older, showed the strongest support for raising the minimum age at 81 percent, though two out of three younger adults, 18-29, also favored the move.

Women were more likely to support it than men with 76 percent in favor compared with 69 percent of men.

Nonsmokers and former smokers were more like to favor raising the age than current smokers with 74 percent of them in favor compared with 64 percent of current smokers.

A week ago another Gallup statement showed the percentage of Americans reporting smoking cigarettes had reached an all-time low of 15 percent in Gallup's 75-year trend analysis.

The findings also follow Ohio recently becoming the 18th state, along with the District of Columbia, to raise its tobacco age to 21, as federal legislation with the same goal is currently pending in the Senate.

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Some other proposed smoking policy changes also had majority support in the same poll, but were less popular than raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco.

For instance, 62 percent of Americans supported banning smoking in all public places.

Similarly, 64 percent of Americans said they wanted stricter regulation on e-cigarettes.

Gallup surveyed 1,525 adults in the poll with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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