A new study published in Substance Use & Misuse[i] uncovered a connection between vaping and substance abuse.
Looking at data drawn from 51,872 U.S. teens (grades 8, 10, 12, years: 2017–2019 – “Monitoring the Future” survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse), the study “assessed links of past 30-day nicotine use (none, smoking-only, vaping-only, and any smoking plus vaping) with both past 30-day cannabis use and past two-week binge drinking.”
The research team from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that adolescents who smoked nicotine in any form were 8.03 times more likely to use cannabis. At the same time, those that vaped were 20.31 times more likely to use cannabis. Combine smoking and vaping, and the odds of an adolescent using cannabis were 40 times higher than those kids who did not use tobacco or vape.
The researchers also found that adolescents who smoked and vaped were much more likely to binge drink than those who abstained from nicotine.
How much more likely?
Add smoking and vaping together, and teens are 22 times more likely to have participated in binge drinking on 3-5 occasions and almost 37 times more likely to have consumed dangerous levels of alcohol ten or more times.
Given these findings, the research team is advocating for advertising and promotion restrictions on vaping products and a national public education campaign to alert parents to the dangers.
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