Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Two million US teens are vaping marijuana

Published:Monday | September 17, 2018 | 4:37 PM
AP photo

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

E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, but many of the battery-powered devices can vaporise other substances, including marijuana.

Results published Monday mean 2.1 million middle and high school students have used them to get high.

Vaping is generally considered less dangerous than smoking because burning tobacco or marijuana generates chemicals that are harmful to lungs.

But there is little research on e-cigarettes’ long-term effects, including whether they help smokers quit.

The rise in teenagers using e-cigarettes has alarmed health officials who worry kids will get addicted to nicotine, a stimulant, and be more likely to try cigarettes.

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.

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.

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