Health

Number of Teens Who Vape Marijuana Doubled in 7 Years


By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 26, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — Youngsters have adopted the vaping development into marijuana use, with current research chronicling a growth in pot vaping amongst adolescents in the US and Canada, researchers report.

The proportion of teenagers who’ve experimented with vaped pot has greater than doubled in recent times, and vaping amongst frequent marijuana customers has quadrupled, in keeping with the examine.

Presently about 1 in 8 North American youngsters have vaped pot inside the final 12 months, and almost 1 in 10 inside the previous month, in keeping with a brand new evaluation of knowledge pooled from 17 completely different research.

“The prevalence of adolescent hashish vaping is on an upward trajectory within the U.S. and Canada,” mentioned lead researcher Carmen Lim, a PhD candidate with the College of Queensland’s Nationwide Middle for Youth Substance Use Analysis in Australia. “We additionally discovered adolescents’ choice for hashish merchandise could also be shifting from much less potent merchandise like natural hashish to extremely potent vape oil and concentrates.”

The proportion of teenagers who’d ever tried marijuana vaping elevated from round 6% in 2013-2016 to almost 14% in 2019-2020. Throughout that very same interval, youngsters who vaped pot over the previous 12 months elevated from 7% to 13%.

Extra frequent pot customers dove into vaping at a fair sooner price, with the proportion of teenagers vaping pot inside the previous month greater than quadrupling — rising from lower than 2% to greater than 8%.

This new analysis did not overview total pot use amongst teenagers, so it isn’t clear whether or not extra youngsters are utilizing pot because of vaping or if youngsters who smoke pot have switched to vaping, Lim mentioned.

Consultants mentioned it is extremely possible youngsters are switching to vape pens from joints, as the general variety of pot-using teenagers has elevated extra slowly.

“As each vaping and hashish have gotten extra acceptable in society and smoking is much less most popular, it appears pure that younger folks would undertake this type of substance consumption,” mentioned Patricia Folan, director of the Middle for Tobacco Management at Northwell Well being in Nice Neck, N.Y.

These numbers got here from information pooled from almost 200,000 adolescents who participated in research on pot use between 2013 and 2020, researchers mentioned.

Vaping makes entry straightforward

Dependancy specialists mentioned it is possible that the components that made e-cigarettes so widespread amongst teenagers has additionally pushed the rise in pot vaping.

Using vaping merchandise total elevated 13-fold in the US amongst center and highschool college students between 2011 and 2018, researchers mentioned in background notes.

“The marijuana pen is simply a lot simpler to entry. You pop it in your backpack, you are taking it out, you retain puffing it through the day. No person smells it, and you do not actually get that very same degree of depth with the coughing,” mentioned Dr. Scott Krakower, a baby and adolescent psychiatrist and substance abuse therapy knowledgeable at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y.

It is also possible that the persevering with wave of marijuana legalization additionally has contributed to extra youngsters vaping pot, mentioned Linda Richter, vp of prevention analysis and evaluation for the Partnership to Finish Dependancy.

“I can not say I am stunned by the meteoric rise in marijuana vaping amongst adolescents, given the substantial shift in public attitudes about marijuana’s security, the rising availability of unregulated vaping merchandise, and the stealth nature of vaping versus smoking marijuana,” Richter mentioned. “Adolescents, together with adults, have been lulled right into a false sense of security about marijuana.”

The issue is that pot vape liquid tends to be extra rather more potent than dried weed, which by itself has elevated in efficiency over time, Richter and Krakower mentioned.

“Too many dad and mom nonetheless imagine that the marijuana that teenagers are utilizing as we speak isn’t any extra dangerous than the marijuana they smoked after they had been youngsters,” Richter mentioned. “However the efficiency of marijuana has quadrupled over the previous couple of a long time and the focus of THC is way increased in as we speak’s merchandise, particularly in vapes and edibles, than it was within the marijuana they used to smoke.”

That efficiency turns into much more troubling when one considers how vape pens are used versus smoking, Krakower added.

Moderately than furtively smoking a single joint, youngsters are free to puff repeatedly on a pot vape pen as steadily as they like, Krakower famous. Not solely does the weed hit them more durable, however they can take tokes off the pen all day.

Mother and father want to concentrate to their youngsters’ pot use and intervene, Richter mentioned.

“If a baby is utilizing marijuana recurrently, dad and mom should not brush it off as a innocent part, however ought to search assist and intervene earlier than it turns right into a marijuana use dysfunction, or results in different harmful well being and security penalties,” Richter mentioned.

Lim and Richter added that regulators and legislators must step in and extra strictly regulate teenagers’ entry to all marijuana merchandise.

“We’re at a degree within the marijuana legalization debate on this nation the place we will nonetheless stop the worst of what commercializing an addictive substance can inflict on youngsters,” Richter mentioned. “For these states that select to legalize the drug for grownup use, there are a lot of provisions that may be written into the legislation and rules to guard youth from being uncovered to, accessing and utilizing the drug.”

The brand new examine was revealed Oct. 25 within the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Extra data

The Partnership to Finish Dependancy has advice for parents about teen pot use.

SOURCES: Carmen Lim, PhD candidate, College of Queensland’s Nationwide Middle for Youth Substance Use Analysis, Australia; Patricia Folan, DNP, director, Middle for Tobacco Management at Northwell Well being, Nice Neck, N.Y.; Scott Krakower, DO, little one and adolescent psychiatrist, and substance abuse therapy knowledgeable, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, N.Y.; Linda Richter, PhD, vp, prevention analysis and evaluation, Partnership to Finish Dependancy; JAMA Pediatrics, Oct. 25, 2021



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