Sur­vey finds 2M US teens are vap­ing mar­i­juana

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Carla K. John­son AP Med­i­cal Writer

A school-based sur­vey shows nearly 1 in 11 U.S. stu­dents have used mar­i­juana in elec­tronic cig­a­rettes, height­en­ing con­cern about the new pop­u­lar­ity of vap­ing among teens.

E-cig­a­rettes typ­i­cally con­tain nico­tine, but re­sults pub­lished Mon­day mean 2.1 mil­lion mid­dle and high school stu­dents have used them to get high.

The de­vices are gen­er­ally con­sid­ered a less dan­ger­ous al­ter­na­tive to reg­u­lar cig­a­rettes, de­spite lit­tle re­search on their long-term ef­fects in­clud­ing whether they help smok­ers quit.

The rise in teenagers us­ing them has alarmed health of­fi­cials. Last week, the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion gave the five largest e-cig­a­rette mak­ers 60 days to pro­duce plans to stop un­der­age use of their prod­ucts.

Nearly 9 per­cent of stu­dents sur­veyed in 2016 said they used an e-cig­a­rette de­vice with mar­i­juana, ac­cord­ing to Mon­day’s re­port in the jour­nal JAMA Pe­di­atrics. That in­cluded one-third of those who ever used e-cig­a­rettes.

The num­ber is wor­ry­ing “be­cause cannabis use among youth can ad­versely af­fect learn­ing and mem­ory and may im­pair later aca­demic achieve­ment and ed­u­ca­tion,” said lead re­searcher Ka­t­rina Trivers of the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion.

Stu­dents who said they lived with a to­bacco user were more likely than oth­ers to re­port vap­ing mar­i­juana.

It’s un­clear whether mar­i­juana vap­ing is in­creas­ing among teens or hold­ing steady. The de­vices have grown into a multi-bil­lion in­dus­try, but they are rel­a­tively new.

It was the first time a ques­tion about mar­i­juana vap­ing was asked on this par­tic­u­lar sur­vey, which uses a na­tion­ally rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of stu­dents in pub­lic and pri­vate schools. More than 20,000 stu­dents took the sur­vey in 2016.

A dif­fer­ent sur­vey from the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan in De­cem­ber found sim­i­lar re­sults when it asked for the first time about mar­i­juana vap­ing. In that study, 8 per­cent of 10th graders said they vaped mar­i­juana in the past year.

“The health risks of vap­ing re­side not only in the vap­ing de­vices, but in the so­cial en­vi­ron­ment that comes with it,” said Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan re­searcher Richard Miech. Kids who vape are more likely to be­come known as drug users and make friends with drug users, he said, adding that “hang­ing out with drug users is a sub­stan­tial risk fac­tor for fu­ture drug use.”

The As­so­ci­ated Press Health & Sci­ence Depart­ment re­ceives sup­port from the Howard Hughes Med­i­cal In­sti­tute’s Depart­ment of Sci­ence Ed­u­ca­tion. The AP is solely re­spon­si­ble for all con­tent.

/ AP-Steven Senne

A school-based sur­vey shows nearly 1 in 11 U.S. stu­dents have used mar­i­juana in elec­tronic cig­a­rettes, height­en­ing con­cern about the new pop­u­lar­ity of vap­ing among teens. E-cig­a­rettes typ­i­cally con­tain nico­tine, but re­sults pub­lished Mon­day, Sept. 17, mean a lit­tle more than 2 mil­lion mid­dle and high school stu­dents have used the de­vices to get high.

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