Youth Marijuana Use in E-Cigarettes


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Karissa Loper, MPH
(775) 684.3209
Carson City, NV - September 26, 2018

Youth Marijuana Use in E-Cigarettes

Carson City- The use of marijuana (also known as cannabis) in e-cigarette devices by youth is a significant public health concern. According to a 2017 consensus study conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, marijuana use among youth can adversely affect learning and memory which may impair educational development and later academic achievement (http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/Activities/PublicHealth/MarijuanaHealthEffects.aspx).

While Nevada does not survey for youth use of marijuana in e-cigarette devices, the 2017 Nevada High School Youth Risk Behaviors Survey (YRBS) Report found 15 percent of high school students report using e-cigarette devices and 20 percent report using marijuana. Forty-three percent of Nevada high school students report trying e-cigarette devices and 37 percent report trying marijuana. Furthermore, before they reached thirteen years of age, 16 percent of Nevada high school students report trying e-cigarette devices and nine (9) percent report trying marijuana.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared a research letter from JAMA Pediatrics (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2702200) regarding youth marijuana use in e-cigarette devices. Referring to data from the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey, the CDC points out nearly 1 in 11 US middle and high school students used marijuana in an e-cigarette device in 2016. This equates to more than 2 million youth who have ever used marijuana in an e-cigarette device, including nearly 1 in 3 high school students (1.7 million) and 1 in 4 middle school students (425,000). Youth marijuana use was also higher among those who had used e-cigarette devices more recently and more frequently, those who had used other tobacco products, and those who lived with someone who used tobacco products.

Both nationally and in Nevada, e-cigarette devices are the most commonly used tobacco product in the youth population. The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health will continue to monitor this issue and develop appropriate programming to protect the health of Nevada’s youth and families.