For the first time, more high-school seniors smoke marijuana daily than smoke cigarettes daily, according to a new survey of teen drug use released Wednesday morning by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. An equal number of sophomores—3 percent—use marijuana daily as smoke cigarettes.
Percent Who View Regular Marijuana Use as Risky
Though each year, fewer high-schoolers perceive regular marijuana use as risky, the number of 12th-grade, daily marijuana smokers has remained relatively stable, hovering near 6 percent since 2012. The reason marijuana use has overtaken cigarettes is because of the rapid decline in cigarette smoking among high schoolers over the past five years. Among 10th graders, for example, there has been a 55 percent drop in the daily smoking rate since 2010.
In an interview, the NIDA director Nora Volkow chalked up the reduction in smoking to “prevention campaigns targeting adolescents specifically.”
“There is another factor,” she added, “Kids who in the past used cigarettes now use other products.” The use of tobacco replacements is stable from last year, but still high, with 20 percent of high-school seniors using hookahs and 16 percent using e-cigarettes.