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Teen marijuana vaping doubled between 2013 and 2020, according to a new study, indicating that young people could trade joints, pipes or bongs for vape pens.
The researchers also found that teens who say they have vaped cannabis in the past 30 days have increased 7-fold – from 1.6% to 8.4% – over the same period.
The report was published in JAMA Pediatrics Monday by researchers who analyzed 17 studies involving nearly 200,000 adolescents in the United States and Canada. Overall, they say, the cumulative data points to what could be a change in preference between dried herbs and cannabis oil products, that is, the way marijuana is ingested. via vaping.
This may be due to the more intense effect that cannabis oils can achieve, which contain higher levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and the misconception that vaping devices are safer than To smoke.
However, researchers have pointed out that vaping marijuana poses serious health hazards to adolescents.
“Regular use of products with high THC content could increase the risk of addiction, other substance use and many other health, social and behavioral problems later in life,” study author Carmen Lim , a doctoral student in health and behavioral sciences at the University of Queensland in Australia, said NPR.
The Monitoring the Future survey – a large American survey of attitudes related to drug and alcohol use among adolescents – is one of 17 studies included in the new meta-analysis. Although it has shown that marijuana use has remained relatively stable among Grade 12 students over the past several years, hovering around the 35% mark, the growing popularity of electronic jar vaping devices is alarming, he said. stated Lim.
“As marijuana is currently illegal federally, many products are unregulated,” she explained.
She noted that the amount of toxic substances in marijuana vaping, including cutting agents such as vitamin E acetate, which can interfere with normal lung function when inhaled, remains unknown.
The Centers for Disease and Prevention reported an outbreak of more than 2,800 cases of lung damage, including 68 deaths, linked to e-cigarettes and vaping products between March 2019 and February 2020. Investigators ultimately determined that the vast majority of people who had suffered lung damage after consuming products containing THC, many of which also contained vitamin E acetate.
Carol Boyd, co-director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health at the University of Michigan, told NPR that “vaping marijuana sounds even worse” for kids than vaping nicotine products.
The 2020 Monitoring the Future survey found that ‘adolescent cannabis vaping’ use was associated with several unwanted respiratory symptoms.
“Unlike smoking cannabis, vaping marijuana with an electronic nicotine device increases the likelihood that teens will have worrisome lung symptoms, including wheezing or wheezing in the chest,” Boyd said.
They are also more likely to have their sleep disturbed by wheezing and have a dry cough when exercising, she added.
“They vape because they think it’s safer, but it doesn’t have to be,” Boyd said. “They are fooling themselves.”
The study calls for increased investment in intervention and prevention measures, including better regulation of cannabis vaping products and a ban on advertising targeting young people.