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American High School Seniors Now More Likely to Smoke Marijuana than Tobacco

posted 10:55 PM EST, Tue December 15, 2009
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American High School Seniors Now More Likely to Smoke Marijuana than Tobacco © Photo Credit: Spliffr

Although high school seniors aren’t abusing drugs at levels seen in the 1990’s, marijuana use is on the rise and researchers say that teen attitudes about the acceptability of marijuana use are a cause for concern.

According to the just released University of Michigan Monitoring the Future (MTF) study on teen drug use and attitudes, teen tobacco smoking levels have fallen to a historic low. Unfortunately, celebrations over the continuing decline in teen cigarette use have been tempered slightly by the news that teen marijuana use has again increased and that high school seniors are now more likely to have smoked marijuana within the last 30 days than cigarettes.

  • 20.1% of teens polled admitted to past month cigarette smoking – 20.6% admitted to past month marijuana use.

Other findings from the MTF study include:

  • 33% of high school seniors admit to having tried marijuana at least once, as do 12% of 8th graders
  • 44% of high school seniors admit to drinking within the last 30 days
  • 5% of high school seniors abused OxyContin within the last year
  • 6% of high school seniors abused cold medications, like Robitussin, within the last year
  • 6% of high school seniors tried salvia within the last year

To compile this data, University of Michigan researchers polled 46097 randomly selected high school students from 389 high schools around the country. The MTF survey is an annual survey, partially funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH)

Read the complete MTF study report.

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