Role of Perceived Harm and Cigarettes on Youth Marijuana Use


This new research published in Pediatrics and distributed in AAP News & Journals Gateway examined the role of cigarette use and perceived risk of harm in influencing youth marijuana use during the past decade.

Annual data were examined from the nationally representative Monitoring the Future study from 1991-2016. 

The authors concluded: 

  • Perceived risk of marijuana remains tightly associated with use among adolescents in the US, and
  • Declines in cigarette use has kept youth marijuana use from projected record highs. 

One implication is that the finding that cigarette use reductions held marijuana use rates from dramatically increasing indicates the critical importance of continued tobacco and other substance use prevention for its effect on multiple drug use. 

Another implication is that prevention and education programs and campaigns should target perceived harmfulness of marijuana and other substances because as this study shows, beliefs like perceived risk play a powerful role in influencing future use rates. 

Research identifying specific risks linked to marijuana use and misuse should be clearly, accurately and widely communicated to youth and adults in schools, college campuses, worksites and communities. 

Lastly, this study’s findings explain why marijuana industry claims that marijuana legislation does not increase youth use are flawed, and suggest that youth consumption of cannabis will likely increase in the further without significantly increased and sustained efforts at prevention and education. 

Read the entire research article: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/11/02/peds.2017-0982 

Please like and share this important research with others in your region and state.  Thank you!

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