Justin McCarthy, an analyst at Washington-based Gallup Inc., has published data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from a new consumer consumption habits survey.
Gallup based the results on telephone interviews with 1,021 adults in all 50 U.S. states conducted in early July. The company also conducted a similar survey in 2003.
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About 43% of the participants said they approve of the idea of charging smokers higher rates. Just 37% approve of the idea of charging significantly overweight people higher rates.
Americans may be tougher on smokers because they have more sympathy for those who are overweight, McCarthy writes.
Americans may also believe that smoking has a bigger effect on health care costs than obesity does, McCarthy writes.