Are Americans becoming more tolerant of smokers? The latest results from a Gallup poll suggests they may be.
Gallup conducted a “consumption habits” (read: lifestyle choices) survey in July, asking respondents whether they thought smokers and people who are obese should pay higher insurance rates.
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A decade ago, the survey showed that 65 percent thought smokers should pay more. Now, that’s down to 58 percent. The Gallup folks shrugged off the drop, saying it was “down modestly.”
Yet people’s attitudes about obesity and insurance rates haven’t really budged. In 2003, 43 percent thought “significantly overweight” people should pay more, and now, 41 percent say they should.
This more tolerant attitude toward the obese could be partly because there a lot more overweight Americans than smoking Americans. Of those surveyed, 45 percent self identified as being significantly overweight. Only 19 percent said they were smokers.