Sep 23, 2018 | Updated: 04:34 PM EDT

More Teens Are Using E-Cigarettes For Pot -- Study

Sep 08, 2015 11:20 PM EDT

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More teens are using the electronic cigarettes for vaporizing marijuana. Based on a new study, around one-fifth of high students in the U.S. are operating their e-cigarette devices with marijuana.

Electronic cigarettes came on the market advertised as a healthier alternative over traditional tobacco cigarettes smoking. They function by heating a nicotine e-liquid and vaporizing it for inhaling. This way the carcinogens caused by burning tobacco are eliminated since no burning and smoke are involved in the process.

American teens found a new use for their e-cigarette devices. Instead of nicotine liquid they are "vaping" pot's tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Using electronic cigarettes with pot is still eliminating the creation of carcinogens caused by the burning the cannabis plant.

It is unclear how healthy pot "vaping" could be. The use of e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to traditional smoking has been not proven to be clearly safer. The research team involved in the new study wrote that it is possible that by "vaping" cannabis oils are released higher amounts of THC.

The study found that those teens in the study using e-cigs were at higher risk of marijuana vaping. According to The Examiner, the teens were 27 times more likely than adults to use the device for that purpose, even if the study found that just 5.4 percent of youngsters were doing so.

Meghan Rabbitt Morean, an Oberlin College psychologist, declared that the figures are high because pot use and the sale of c-cigs to minors are both illegal in Connecticut, the state where the survey was conducted. It is known that teens have the tendency to do things that are under interdiction for them.

The fact that e-cigarettes for vaping are increasingly used among teens is also suggested by previous studies. For instance, a 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey revealed that 13.4 percent of teenagers had used e-cigarettesin the previous month. Many of them made modifications to their devices in order to use them for vaping weed. Another trendy option among youngsters is to use vape pens especially designed for pot use.  

For the latest study, researchers surveyed a number of 3,847 students from five different high schools in Connecticut. Around 30 percent of them declared that they had used an e-cigarette at least once, and nearly 29 percent of the participants said that they had tried marijuana. According to USA Today, around 18.8 percent of the high school students participating in the survey reported that they had used both cannabis and e-cigs.

The researchers involved in the latest study declared that there are still issues that would require further investigations. For instance, it is unclear whether electronic cigarettes have led teenagers to try out marijuana, or if they would have eventually tried it anyway.

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