Public Health and Safety

Adolescent Use of E-Cigarettes: Increases Risk of Marijuana Use by Over 2 Fold

A recent JAMA study (July 22, 2022) found that adolescents, ages 12 to 18 years old, are 2 – 3 times more likely to use marijuana if they also had previously used an e-cigarette device. Prior use of an e-cigarette was associated to increased marijuana use in all areas studied (ever used, past year usage and past 30-days use).

The authors (Sun, Mendez, and Warner) cited that from 2017 – 2019, the use of e-cigarettes devices grew significantly in the middle high school and high school cohorts. More recently, in 2020 and 2021, those use rates have declined in both groups. The authors noted that the use of an e-cigarette device, by adolescents, could open the door for more risky behavior choices such as marijuana use. The choice to move from a nicotine delivery system to marijuana might be an effort of seeking to build peer acceptance, responding to peer pressure and other factors.

This study illuminates the need to provide greater evidence-based education to adolescents. Thereby, raising the awareness of research into today’s marijuana, its potency, and potential harmful effects. All to stave off potential adverse choices made from a position of life inexperience.

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Photo:Unsplash.com/Quinten de Graf