Study Reveals Vaping and Marijuana Increase is a Troubling Trend Among Today’s Youth

The University of Michigan recently released its annual Monitoring the Future Panel Study, which showed a concerning nationwide increase in marijuana and nicotine vaping among college students and young adults, ages 19 to 22.

This upward trend is troubling, because the known health risks associated with vaping can be exacerbated by Covid-19. For many years there had been a drop in nicotine use through cigarettes among young adults. However, the increase in vaping has offset much of that progress. The study found that in 2019, one-in-five 19-22-year-olds vaped nicotine.

Another key finding of the study was that marijuana use among young adults has reached its highest levels over the last four decades. Youth who used marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis increased from 6 percent to 15 percent from 2017 to 2019. The brain of a young adult is still growing, and the use of marijuana could potential impair cognitive function.

The increased use of marijuana could be linked to the perception that marijuana use does not pose a great risk. The study found that only 24 percent of respondents perceived regular use of marijuana as dangerous, which is among the lowest levels recorded since 1980.

This November, the legalization of recreational marijuana will be on the ballot in New Jersey. It is more important than ever that we educate our youth about the consequences that can be associated with marijuana use, as well as vaping.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey offers many free prevention initiatives for children and parent education to give adults the tools to talk to children about substance abuse and misuse. Our research has shown that it is never too early to talk to children about the dangers of substance abuse in age-appropriate manner. The earlier you begin to have these important conversations with your kids the less likely they are to get involved in substance use. To learn more about our youth programs and initiatives, please click here. To learn more about our parent education, please click here.

Continued wishes to stay safe and healthy.

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