Opting Out of Cigarettes May Affect Pot Use in Teens

Posted On: 11-10-2017
Opting Out of Cigarettes May Affect Pot Use in Teens
Researchers with the University of Michigan recently looked at why pot usage among teenagers in the United States has held steady over the past decade, despite many teens becoming more likely to believe that marijuana is harmless. The results were published in the journal Pediatrics.

Richard Miech, a research professor, led the study. Miech indicated that teens who believe that pot is safe are more likely to use it in the next year, and he and his colleagues wanted to look at why pot use is not rising as expected.

For the study, the researchers looked at a survey funded by the government that followed more than one million teens over the past few decades. The researchers found that the percentage of teens who have smoked or tried alcohol have steadily dropped. In fact, cigarette smoking is at historic lows, according to Miech.

This may be what contributes to the non-rise of pot use. Smoking seems to be a major factor in whether or not teenagers try marijuana. While teens have more positive views on marijuana use in general, their avoidance of cigarette smoking is playing an apparent role.

However, the findings aren’t all positive. Teenagers who believe that marijuana is harmless are still more likely than their peers to start using marijuana. More education about the potential dangers may be needed, especially since marijuana can be harmful to the developing brain of adolescents.

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