Smokers less likely to vote
Smokers Less Likely To Vote. People who smoke are 60 per cent less likely to vote than their non-smoking peers, a new US study has found.
Washington: People who smoke are 60 per cent less likely to vote than their non-smoking peers, a new US study has found.
The study is the first to link a health-risk behaviour with electoral participation, researchers said. "One on hand, the result is intuitive. We know from previous research that smokers are an increasingly marginalised population, involved in fewer organisations and activities and with less interpersonal trust than nonsmokers," said Karen Albright, from the University of Colorado Cancer Centre, and the paper's first author.
"But what our research suggests is that this marginalisation may also extend beyond the interpersonal level to attitudes toward political systems and institutions," said Albright.
Through random digit dialling, the study reached 11,626 people who completed a telephone survey querying a range of demographic, social and behavioural factors.
Overall, 17 per cent of respondents were smokers. Holding all other variables constant, daily smokers were 60 per cent less likely to vote than nonsmokers. The study is the first to link a health-risk behaviour with electoral participation, building on the work of a previous Swedish study that found an association between smoking and political mistrust.
One possibility is that smokers may view political institutions as oppressors, given widespread enactment of tobacco taxes and clean indoor air laws, researchers said.
The stigma associated with smoking may create social withdrawal or feelings of depression or fatalism among smokers, which could decrease voting, they said.
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