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“Smoke What?” High School Marijuana Use Stays Steady While Cigarette Smoking, Vaping Decline

A new University of Michigan poll of more than 45,000 students in public and private schools across the country found that 8th and 10thgraders are smoking less tobacco, drinking less, and using fewer hard drugs than in recent years. In fact, the rates are the lowest since the early ’90s.

According to the study, called Monitoring the Future, marijuana use among high school seniors remained relatively unchanged at 22.5 percent. Declines were observed in 8th-grader marijuana use, which dropped to 9.4 percent.

The figure means that, altogether, more teens aged 13 to 18 smoke pot than cigarettes or e-cigs. Vaping also saw a decline for the first time, with 6 percent of 8th-graders, 11 percent of 10th-graders, and 13 percent of seniors saying they’ve vaped.

The researchers also reported that teen cigarette smoking was at the lowest levels recorded since the study began 42 years ago: just 10.5 percent of 12th-graders say they sparked up a cigarette in the last month.

“If you ask [teens] if they smoke, they think you mean marijuana,” Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (which funded the study) told health reporting outfit STAT news.

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