Vaping, Marijuana Use On The Rise Amongst Teens

This is the 43rd year for the Monitoring the Future study now conducted by research scientists at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Teenagers' use and misuse of illicit and prescription drugs continues to remain low, a new study has found, but the growing popularity of electronic vaporizers has raised new concerns about their long-term health.

The annual Monitoring the Future study has tracked drug use trends for 8, 10 and 12 graders for over 40 years.

Use of prescription painkillers fell to new lows, even as the opioid epidemic continues to plague adults.

The report, sponsored by the federal government's National Institute on Drug Abuse and administered by the University of MI, found that 22.9 per cent of high school seniors said they had used marijuana within the previous 30 days and 16.6 per cent had used a vaping device.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Deputy Director Wilson Compton says parents and communities are just waking up to the vaping trend. Others reported vaping nicotine and marijuana.

Rates of marijuana edible use in states where it is medically legal were almost 17 percent - double those in states where it is illegal.

The researchers found that high school seniors were more likely to consume edible marijuana products in states where medical marijuana was legal (16.7 percent) than in states where it wasn't (8.3 percent).

The new nationally representative study showed that 35.8% of students in their final year of high school had tried vaping, versus 26.6% who had ever smoked a cigarette. When asked how frequently they had used in the past month, just 4.2% of 12th-graders said they smoked cigarettes every day, but 5.9% said they used marijuana.

Nearly a third of those who had vaped said they had inhaled contained nicotine, while 11.1% said marijuana or hash oil.

Miech agreed: "There is considerable concern that vaping can led to use of cigarettes". In Colorado, one of the first states to legalize marijuana, monthly use among all teens dropped significantly from 11 percent in 2015 to 9 percent in 2016, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Dr Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana says that the industry is 'big tobacco all over again'. American researchers have largely taken a prohibitionist stance, arguing vaping does more harm than good, while British have researchers focused on the device's potential benefits to current smokers.

Use of snus - a moist, powdered form of smokeless tobacco - fell for all three grades combined, with 2.6 percent of surveyed students saying they had used it in the a year ago.

He says that edibles, candies and sweet e-liquids are "kid-friendly" items, which, he says they can get their hands onto more easily in legalized states.

From its peak in the mid-1990s, the rate of all high school students who are smoking has dropped dramatically.

The percentage of high school seniors who said they misused OxyContin in the past year fell to 2.7 percent, less than half the number from 2005.

However, in the last few years vaping has seen huge growth. Those figures are down from 10.5 percent for seniors in 2003, 8.1 percent for sophomores in 2009 and 3.0 percent for eighth-graders in 2006, and all three are lower than at any point since survey-takers began tracking Vicodin use in 2002.

Among high school seniors, 2.7 percent said they had used cocaine in the a year ago, as did 1.4 percent of sophomores and 0.8 percent of eighth-graders. For eighth-graders, the percentage who had used illicit drugs in the previous year was just 12.9%, while 18.2% had had a drink.

Crystal meth was used by 0.8 percent of high school seniors, the only age group asked about this use.

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