Majority of Americans Support Tobacco 21 Legislation

Efforts to raise the legal minimum age to buy tobacco products are right in line with the opinion of many Americans.

According to recent Gallup poll, 73 percent of Americans said the minimum age to buy tobacco products should be raised to 21.

Support for Tobacco 21 efforts was strongest among adults 65 and older, though majorities of other age groups also support the policy change. Support is slightly lower among those aged 18 to 29; however, even within this demographic, two in three support the increase.

In addition, 76 percent women and 69 percent of men support hiking the minimum age to 21.

Nearly three quarters of nonsmokers support this change in age restrictions, while a smaller majority of 64 percent of current smokers agree, the poll found.

Gallup’s Tobacco 21 results
Looking at other tobacco-related issues, the same poll found that approximately six in 10 Americans support banning smoking in all public places, by three percentage points — the highest since Gallup first asked about this in 2011.

Much less popular is a proposal to ban smoking entirely in the United States. Strong majorities of Americans have opposed this idea in all polls since Gallup first polled on it in 1990. Though still unpopular, an outright national smoking ban has garnered more support on average since 2010 than before, with a high of 25 percent favoring it in 2018.

Gallup also looked at regulatory moves around electronic cigarettes and found that nearly two-thirds of Americans say laws and regulations covering e-cigarettes should be made more strict, while 26 percent say the regulations should be kept as they are now. Only 5 percent say these laws and regulations should be less strict.

Digging deeper, support for stricter regulations was highest with women (71 percent) and Americans 65 and older (75 percent) — although majorities of most groups lean toward toughening regulations on e-cigarettes.

According to Gallup, the main exception is young adults. Among those 18 to 29, 49 percent say laws and regulations should be stricter and 42 percent say they should be kept as they are.

The data is from a July 1-12 Gallup poll.

Gallup poll results on electronic cigarette restrictions

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