Teens Now Using Marijuana More Than Tobacco Products

teen smoking marijuana from pipe

More teens are lighting up a joint than a cigarette these days. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the results of a survey, which found that 23 percent of high school students say that they’ve recently smoked marijuana, while 19 percent of high school students report that they’ve smoked cigarettes recently.

This marks the first time that marijuana use has eclipsed cigarette smoking and has raised concerns amongst prevention, enforcement and rehabilitation groups across the country.

Could this be that teens perceive marijuana as less harmful than cigarettes? And do some teens think that marijuana smoking is completely safe?

The answer to this may be a shocking, yes.

The Media & The Use & Promotion Of Marijuana

We all see no smoking campaigns, commercials, and billboards daily, however, where do we see the dangers and damage that marijuana can cause? We also see a number of television shows, movies and even celebrity role models who support and use marijuana.

All the hype is causing teens to believe that this drug is safe. Not to mention the legalization of the substance in many states and the ever-growing number of dispensaries that sell the substance is making it easier and easier to obtain.

According to additional statistics:

  • On an average June or July day, more than 5,000 young adults smoke cigarettes for the first time.
  • In comparison to cigarette use, 6,300 young adults that try marijuana for the first time during these same months.
  • Past month marijuana use has risen 42% from the year previous meaning that more than 4 million teens have tried the drug for the first time.
  • This year alone, marijuana use has gone up 26% showing that 6 million teens have used the drug this year alone.
  • And lifetime marijuana usage among teens has risen 39% in the last year (or 8 million teen uses of the drug).
  • Marijuana is still the most commonly abused drug in the US and still send the highest numbers of people into treatment yearly.
  • With all of this known, the problem of teen marijuana use appears to be a major epidemic.

But why are so many new teens trying the drug every day?

Studies done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate that many teens feel that marijuana is not dangerous or addictive because it is legal in some places in the country and because it is natural. However, a variety of problems can occur with any use of the drugs.

The Negative Effects Of Marijuana

With over 12 million users of marijuana in the country, many seem to be unaware of the negative effects of the drug. Marijuana is used by smoking the substance or ingesting it orally through food such as “edibles”.

Some of the primary negative effects and risks and symptoms associated with marijuana use include:

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Sleepiness
  • Red Eyes
  • Dry Mouth
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Skewed perception
  • Loss of short-term and sometimes long-term memory
  • Psychosis
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Strokes
  • Headaches
  • Hyperactivity
  • Violence
  • Seizures
  • Heart Attacks
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Certain Cancers
  • Depression

Treatment centers like the Narconon program have been treating marijuana addiction since the 1960s and have seen patients struggle with the problem for some time.

Often marijuana users start out smoking the drug because they feel it will not harm them.

Years later they end up in treatment programs with severe marijuana problems as well as cross-addictions to other drugs.

For more information on marijuana abuse or the Narconon drug rehabilitation program contact us today.



Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.