Few people, even smokers, think that smoking is cool, but a significant minority of heavyweights think heavy drinking is cool
Currently, only 16.8% of adult Americans are considered smokers by the CDC, down from nearly 21% in 2004 and over 42% in 1965. The image of smoking has changed significantly over the decades, as the popular image of James Dean in a leather jacket has slowly been replaced by scenes of a huddle of smokers in front of office buildings.
YouGov's research shows that only 16% of smokers think that smoking looks cool, something only 6% of non-smokers agree with. Overall, 9% of Americans think smoking looks cool while 79% say that it does not. Men (10%) and under-30s (12%) are the most likely to think that it looks cool.
Overall, only 8% of Americans think that being able to handle drinking a lot is cool, but unlike smoking there is a significant divide between self-described 'heavyweights' and 'lightweights'. 29% of heavyweights say that being able to drink a lot is cool, compared to only 6% of lightweights.
There is a strong age gap in whether or not considers themselves a heavyweight. While 33% of under-30s say that they are heavyweights, only 2% of over-65s say the same.