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HomeHealthcareMassive Rise in Marijuana Vaping Amongst U.S. Teenagers

Massive Rise in Marijuana Vaping Amongst U.S. Teenagers


By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Might 20, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — A rising variety of U.S. youngsters are vaping marijuana — a behavior that in some methods could also be extra dangerous than old school pot smoking, a brand new research finds.

Researchers discovered that between 2017 and 2019, the proportion of teenagers who reported any marijuana use prior to now month ticked upward barely — from 13.9% to fifteen.4%.

What actually modified, the research discovered, was how youngsters have been utilizing the drug. There was a pointy improve in vaping, whereas conventional marijuana smoking declined.

The proportion of children who stated they vaped marijuana “often” — at the least as soon as every week — greater than doubled, from 2.1% to five.4%. Occasional use (one to 6 occasions a month) rose to an analogous diploma.

On the similar time, the proportion of children who smoke marijuana declined. In essence, vaping gave the impression to be changing smoking, in accordance with lead researcher Katherine Keyes, a professor at Columbia College Mailman College of Public Well being in New York Metropolis.

She stated she may solely speculate concerning the causes. However the rising recognition of vaping nicotine, together with legalization and altering social norms round marijuana, are doubtless elements, Keyes stated.

These factors have been echoed by Linda Richter, vp of prevention analysis and evaluation for the nonprofit Partnership to Finish Habit.

She stated previous analysis gives some “compelling explanations” for the developments seen on this research.

“First, the wave of nicotine vaping that unfold all through center and excessive colleges over the previous a number of years elevated the chance that children who vape nicotine will transition to vaping marijuana,” stated Richter, who was not concerned within the research.

Vaping, she added, has turn into “normalized,” whereas on the similar time “pro-marijuana messages” have grown.

“Vaped merchandise are additionally usually seen as safer and more healthy than smoked merchandise, as a result of when e-cigarettes have been initially launched to the market, they have been marketed as safer alternate options to cigarette smoking,” Richter stated.

However vaping is way from benign. And on the subject of marijuana, Keyes stated, vaping can really ship the next dose of THC than smoking does. THC is the energetic ingredient behind marijuana’s “excessive.”

That greater THC dose, Richter stated, can “hook younger individuals to the substance and maintain them coming again for extra.”

And whereas vaping doesn’t contain smoke, the liquids utilized in vaporizers do comprise doubtlessly poisonous chemical compounds, Richter identified. Vitamin E acetate, an additive in some THC-containing vaping merchandise, has been linked to extreme — and typically deadly — lung accidents.

That lack of smoke can be an issue of types: Youngsters can conceal marijuana vaping extra simply than smoking, Richter stated, as a result of there is no telltale pot odor.

The brand new findings — printed Might 19 within the journal Habit — are primarily based on greater than 51,000 U.S. teenagers who took half in annual well being survey between 2017 and 2019.

Throughout that point, marijuana vaping rose amongst girls and boys, with a big spike in these utilizing at the least as soon as every week: from 2.9% to six.2% amongst boys, and from 1.3% to 4.7% amongst ladies.

By 2019, marijuana vaping was extra standard than conventional pot smoking amongst all racial and ethnic teams, apart from Black teenagers.

Keyes additionally pointed to a discovering from a earlier research of the identical group of teenagers: Highschool seniors reported an particularly sharp rise in marijuana vaping — with the prevalence almost tripling, from 5% to 14%.

The vaping craze presents mother and father with some troublesome points, in accordance with Keyes and Richter. Not solely is marijuana use more durable to note, however youngsters are additionally seeing marijuana vaping merchandise marketed in all places, together with on social media, they identified.

“It is not a matter of whether or not your baby can be uncovered to this, however when,” Keyes stated. “The perfect factor mother and father can do is to speak to their youngsters about marijuana use, and begin early — in center faculty.”

Richter agreed, encouraging mother and father to take a “well being relatively than a punitive method” to these conversations.

Extra info

Partnership to Finish Habit has recommendation for folks on speaking about marijuana.

SOURCES: Katherine Keyes, PhD, professor, epidemiology, Columbia College Mailman College of Public Well being, New York Metropolis; Linda Richter, PhD, vp, prevention analysis and evaluation, Partnership to Finish Habit, New York Metropolis; Habit, Might 19, 2022, on-line

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