U.S. Government Confirms that More High School Students Smoke Marijuana than Tobacco
Sunday, June 10, 2012
American high school students prefer marijuana to cigarettes, according to a report released June 8 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. CDC, an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services responsible for leading public health efforts to prevent and control infectious and chronic disease, etc., confirmed that marijuana smoking is now more prevalent than tobacco smoking among American high school students. A survey by the anti-drug group the Partnership at DrugFree.org, reported by AllGov last month, found slightly more pot use than CDC, but the CDC survey, which included more than 15,000 students, is considered more reliable than the Partnership’s, which surveyed only 3,000.
The report, which covers the year 2011, found that 44.7% of students have tried cigarette smoking at least once, a steep drop from the 70.4% that had done so in 1999, while in 2011 39.9% had smoked marijuana at least once in their life, a modest decline from the 47.2% who had in 1999. Nevertheless, only 18.1% of students had smoked cigarettes on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey, versus 23.1% of students who had smoked marijuana one or more times during the 30 days before the survey. Thus, barely 40% of those who had tried tobacco at least once became cigarette smokers, but 57% of those who had tried weed became at least once a month tokers.
Ironically, and despite the ritual hand-wringing exhibited by those whose job it is to highlight what’s wrong with kids these days, there is a silver lining to the cloud of ganja smoke hovering over American youth. As numerous studies have demonstrated, smoking marijuana, while not a healthy activity, is less harmful to health than smoking tobacco cigarettes, far less habit forming, and does not constitute a “gateway” to using other drugs.
To Learn More:
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2011 (by Danice K. Eaton, Laura Kann, et al., Centers for Disease Control) (pdf)
More Teens Smoke Marijuana than Tobacco (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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