According to a school-based survey, nearly one in every 11 middle and high school students have used cannabis in e-cigarettes in 2016.
The research report, which was published in JAMA Pediatrics this week, found that 4.5% of middle schoolers and 12.4% of high schoolers (8.9% combined) have vaped cannabis in 2016. These numbers are higher compared to those in previous studies.
The researchers also found that male students were more likely to report using marijuana.
Researchers analyzed data from the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which involved more than 20,000 students from across the United States.
The recent finding, according to health experts, adds to evidence that there is a growing vaping trend and that it is affecting the developing brains of young people. Moreover, they said that the results of the study add to the evidence that cannabis acts as a gateway to other drugs.
The report came on the heels of the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement last week declaring youth vaping as an epidemic. The agency vowed to stop the sale of flavored e-cigarettes if the major manufacturers are not able to prove that they are trying to keep their vaping products out of the hands of young people.
More specifically, the FDA said that it is giving manufacturers of Blu, Logic, Juul, Vise, and MarkTen XL 60 days to submit their plans on preventing vaping among children and teens. If the FDA does not think their plans are robust enough or that these plans would go far, their products will be taken off the shelves.
According to the FDA, the vaping products from these five manufacturers make up more than 97% of the e-cigarettes market in the U.S.
The FDA’s announcement is based on the 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey that found that more than 2 million middle school, high school, and college students use battery-powered e-cigarette devices to heat liquid-based nicotine and and inhale its vapor. By far, e-cigarettes are the most popular tobacco product among teenagers, with almost 3% of middle school and 12% of high school students having used the device in the month prior to the survey.