Poll: Americans Don't Want to Ban Trans Fats, Energy Drinks, E-Cigarettes, Online Poker, Violent Video Games or Genetic Testing Kits


The American people do not want to be nannied.

The new Reason-Rupe poll finds that Americans oppose banning a number of items governments have been working to prohibit.

The federal government recently proposed rules that would effectively ban trans fats, but 71 percent of Americans say they should be allowed to buy foods with trans fats if they so choose. Just under a quarter, 24 percent of Americans, say foods with trans fats should not be allowed.

The Food and Drug Administration recently ordered a genetic testing company to stop selling its DNA tests. Reason-Rupe finds 55 percent of Americans believe they should be allowed to buy genetic testing kits that provide information about a person's DNA, 37 percent say these should not be allowed.

Over three quarters of Americans, 76 percent, say they should be allowed to buy high-caffeine energy drinks. Twenty-one percent think energy drinks should be prohibited.

Several cities have moved to ban e-cigarettes in public places, but 62 percent of Americans say electronic cigarettes should be allowed in public spaces. Thirty-four percent favor prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in public.

Congress is considering a bill that would legalize online poker and 65 percent of Americans tell Reason-Rupe that adults should be allowed to gamble in online poker games. Thirty-two percent oppose allowing people to play online poker.

Two-thirds of Americans, 66 percent, tell Reason-Rupe that people should be allowed to play violent video games, while 31 percent want them banned.

The one item Reason-Rupe asked about that the public wants to ban is printing 3D guns. Six in 10 Americans think printing working 3D guns should be prohibited, while 30 percent say it should be allowed.

Full Poll

The full poll is online here and additional Reason-Rupe poll resources are available here. Sign up for notifications of new releases of the Reason-Rupe poll here. This is the latest in a series of Reason-Rupe public opinion surveys dedicated to exploring what Americans really think about government and major issues.  This Reason Foundation project is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation.

The Reason-Rupe poll conducted live interviews with 1,011 adults on mobile (506) and landline (505) phones from December 4-8, 2013. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percent. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey.