WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Results from a survey say almost 1 in 11 U.S. students have tried vaping marijuana.
- The FDA threatens a crackdown on e-cigarette manufacturers if they don’t produce plans to reduce underage usage of their products.
- Popular e-cigarette manufacturer, Juul, says they are working to change their marketing strategy.
Electronic cigarette use among teens is becoming quite a popular trend. Usually, these devices contain nicotine but can be used to vaporize other substances—this includes marijuana.
A school-based survey released Monday has results showing that almost 1 in 11 U.S. students has used e-cigarettes with marijuana.
This equates to around 2.1 million middle and high school students. The survey used a nationally representative sample of students both in public and private schools.
These numbers are causing health concerns to intensify, especially when it comes to vaping among teens. Removing the factor of chemicals that can damage the lungs when burning cigarettes, vaping is considered somewhat less hazardous than smoking. However, there isn’t much research on the long-term effects of e-cigarettes.
Health officials are concerned that the rise in teen vaping will also lead to minors becoming addicted to nicotine, a stimulant in cigarettes. Consequently, this may lead to the higher possibility of kids trying cigarettes.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration described the rising levels of vaping among teens “epidemic”. This pushed the FDA to order the five largest e-cigarette manufacturers 60 days to come up with plans to bring a halt to the underage use of their products.
Another survey conducted by the University of Michigan in December had similar results when the question of marijuana vaping was asked for the first time. That study showed that over the past year, 8 percent of 10th graders said they had vaped weed.
Richard Miech, University of Michigan researcher, said, “The health risks of vaping reside not only in the vaping devices but in the social environment that comes with it.”
On Monday, a report in the journal JAMA Pediatrics revealed that in a 2016 survey, around 9 percent of students used marijuana with an e-cigarette.
Lead researcher for Disease Control and Prevention, Katrina Trivers, said that these figures were a cause for concern “because cannabis use among youth can adversely affect learning and memory.”
The chemical in marijuana that causes people to get high, THC, is available in cartridges and can be bought in states where marijuana is legal. The most popular e-cigarette device, Juul, doesn’t have marijuana pods on its list of products, but users can refill its cartridges with cannabis oil.
Ashley Gould, Juul executive, said that it was not the intention of the company to attract teens to e-cigarettes.
“I will take the criticism that we should have known. I will take that criticism,” Gould said.
She says the company is now working hard and has since changed its marketing strategy.
Source: CBS News