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Poll: Most Americans Believe Smokers Should Pay Higher Health Insurance Premiums Posted: November 30th, 2010

By Maryalene LaPonsie

Should smokers pay more for health insurance?

Polling firm Rasmussen Reports recently completed a telephone survey regarding attitudes toward smoking, government warning labels and health insurance. The poll found that most Americans believe that smokers should have to pay a higher health insurance rate.

In response to a question about whether smokers should pay more for health insurance, 54 percent of respondents stated that the smokers should be subject to higher premiums. The poll also garnered some interesting statistics including that:

  • 70 percent of non-smokers believe smokers should pay more
  • 49 percent of former smokers believe smokers should pay more
  • Only 12 percent of current smokers thought they should be charged higher premiums
  • More men than women support charging higher premiums to smokers
  • Adults age 30-64 and those earning more than $75,000 were the strongest supporters of charging higher health insurance rates

The results mirror a poll conducted in October 2009 which found that 50 percent of adults thought government workers who smoke should pay more for their health insurance.

To conduct the survey, Rasmussen Reports contacted 1,000 adults nationwide by phone on November 14-15, 2010; the poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.