By the numbers

With Somerville’s smoking ban in effect and a statewide smoking ban soon to be implemented, the Daily looks at the smoking habits of both college students and the population at large.

32% Americans who think smoking in all public places should be illegal

59% Smokers who think restrictions on smoking in public places are justified

40% Smokers who think such restrictions are unjustly discriminatory

2.6% Amount by which a 10% increase in cigarette prices reduces smoking among college students

16 Age at which most smokers start their habit

40 Years since the Surgeon General first announced that smoking was linked to serious illnesses

82% Adults who think smoking is “very harmful”

18 Years since the Surgeon General first announced that “secondhand smoke could cause lung cancer in non-smokers”

51% Adults who believe that secondhand smoke can be “very harmful”

1 in 4 U.S. colleges (including Tufts) that ban smoking in dormitories

75% College students who support “banning smoking in all campus buildings”

70% College students who think tobacco companies should be prohibited from sponsoring events and marketing their products on campus

16% College students who smoke every day

32% High school graduates of the same age who smoke every day

18% College smokers who have tried to quit more than five times

25% Members of the American general population who smoke cigarettes

34% American 18-29 year olds who smoke

440,000 Deaths caused by cigarette smoking each year (1 in 5)

36% Smokers who think it’s fair for their insurance rates to be higher than non-smokers’

$516.5 billion Total cigarette sales in 1963

$398.3 billion Total cigarette sales in 2001

21% Americans who say they respect a person less if he/she smokes

$.74 Average tax per pack of cigarettes across the US

$1.51 Tax per pack in Massachusetts (3rd highest state)

The statistics cited above come from the 2003 State Cigarette Excise Tax & Rankings; the 2003 AP articles “Massachusetts smokers may face $1 price hike” and “Universities Clamping Down on Lighting Up”; the 2003 Gallup Poll “Social Series: Consumption Habits”; the 2003 Gallup Poll “Do Unhealthy Americans Get Too Much Respect?”; the 2003 Gallup Poll “Up in Smoke: The Costs of Tobacco Use”; the 2003 Gallup Poll “Second-Hand Smoke a Second-Hand Risk?”; Czart, Pacula, Chaloupka, and Wechsler’s Contemporary Economic Policy study “The Impact of Prices and Control Policies on Cigarette Smoking Among College Students”; the 2003 MGH Press Release “College students support smoking restrictions”; and the University of California study “Differential Effects of Cigarette Price on Youth Smoking Intensity.”

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