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'More Americans than ever' want total smoking ban, and most smokers want to quit

Published: Wednesday, July 31 2013 7:30 a.m. MDT

Charlie Waters smokes in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007. The percentage of Americans who think smoking should be illegal throughout the United States is nearly twice what it was in 2007.

Nati Harnik, Associated Press

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Twenty-two percent of Americans want to completely ban smoking in the U.S. and 55 percent said they’d like to prohibit smoking from public areas, according to polling data Gallup released Monday.

Gallup’s Andrew Dugan wrote, “More Americans than ever want to ban smoking outright: 22 percent say so today, up from 12 percent in 2007. Separately, 55 percent would make smoking in all public places totally illegal, also a proposal that has gained considerable support since 2007. … Though support is growing, the percentage of Americans wanting to ban smoking entirely remains relatively low.”

Additional Gallup polling revealed Wednesday that 74 percent of U.S. smokers would genuinely like to give up smoking — which, coincidentally, is the mean response Gallup has encountered across 25 years of asking questions along those lines. The average smoker has attempted to quit 3.6 times, and 48 percent of former smokers say the best way to stop smoking is to do it cold turkey.

Last month a study in the scientific journal Tobacco Control estimated increased health care costs and diminished workplace productivity cause employers to pay an extra $5,816 per year for every smoker on the full-time payroll.

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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