Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

More U.S. Teens Are Vaping Pot

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.

As electronic-cigarette use has soared among America's teens, so have the number vaping marijuana, two new reports indicate.

A team from the University of Nebraska found youth use of pot in e-cigarettes rose from 11% in 2017 to 15% one year later. And University of Michigan researchers found that in 2019, 14% of 12th graders reported marijuana vaping in the prior month, an increase from about 7% in 2018.

These rising rates are concerning for multiple reasons.

"Marijuana use in adolescence could lead to adverse effects on brain development, mental health, and academic performance," said Hongying Dai, an associate professor of biostatistics at the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha.

"E-cigarette use has also been related to the recent spate of severe lung diseases," added Dai, who led the Nebraska study. The majority of those illnesses are linked to vaping devices containing THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in pot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For her study, Dai and colleagues gathered data on 38,000 students in grades six through 12 who took part in the National Youth Tobacco Survey.

In the other study, researchers were led by Richard Miech, a research professor at the University of Michigan Institute of Social Research. The team used data from the 2018 and 2019 Monitoring the Future surveys of eighth, 10th and 12th graders.

In addition to the increase in vaping among 12th graders, the investigators found that 4% of eighth-graders said they vaped marijuana in 2019 -- a jump from less than 3% the previous year. Among 10th graders, nearly 13% said they had vaped marijuana in 2019, up from 7% in 2018.

For 10th and 12th graders, these increases were larger than those seen between 2017 and 2018, the researchers noted.

Also, in 2019, kids who vaped marijuana were twice as likely to be daily vapers, compared with those who hadn't vaped marijuana, the findings showed.

However, "overall teen use of marijuana by any method did not increase in 2019," Miech said.

The reports were published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Source: HealthDay

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