National Adolescent Drug Trends in 2017

Tables summarizing estimates for the drugs discussed below, as well as additional drugs, are here: https://goo.gl/w78A5e. The findings summarized here will be published by the end of April in a forthcoming volume.

Marijuana Use Edges Upward

ANN ARBOR—Marijuana use among adolescents edged upward in 2017, the first significant increase in seven years. Overall, past-year use of marijuana significantly increased by 1.3% to 24% in 2017 for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders combined. Specifically, in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades the respective increases were 0.8% (to 10.1%), 1.6% (to 25.5%) and 1.5% (to 37.1%). The increase is statistically significant when all three grades are combined.

“This increase has been expected by many” said Richard Miech, the Principal Investigator of the study. “Historically marijuana use has gone up as adolescents see less risk of harm in using it. We’ve found that the risk adolescents see in marijuana use has been steadily going down for years to the point that it is now at the lowest level we’ve seen in four decades.”

The results come from the annual Monitoring the Future study, now in its 43rd year. About 45,000 students in some 380 public and private secondary schools have been surveyed each year in this U.S. national study, designed and conducted by research scientists at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Students in grades 8, 10, and 12 are surveyed.

This increase in marijuana drove trends in any illicit drug use in the past year. In both 12th and 10th grade this measure increased (although the increase was not statistically significant), while use of any illicit drug use other than marijuana declined (although the decrease was not statistically significant). In 8th grade neither of these drug use measures significantly changed, although they both increased slightly.

First-Ever U.S. Standard Estimates for Vaping of Nicotine, Marijuana, and Flavoring

The 2017 survey also reports first-ever national, standard estimates of nicotine vaping, marijuana vaping, flavoring-only vaping, and any vaping. Previously, no national study has published estimates for vaping of specific substances for the standard time periods of past 30 days, past year, and lifetime.

Levels of marijuana vaping are considerable. One in ten 12th grade students vaped marijuana in the past year, and levels were 8% and 3% for 10th and 8th grade students, respectively. These annual levels are about the same as the levels for lifetime prevalence1 of vaping marijuana use, indicating that almost all marijuana vaping had occurred within one year of the survey.

Levels of nicotine vaping are also considerable, with 19% of 12th grade students vaping nicotine in the past year. The annual prevalence levels were 16% and 8% for 10th and 8th grade students, respectively. It is also possible that additional students are getting nicotine in what they vape but are not aware of it, so these are lower bound estimates.

Levels of overall vaping were similar in 2017 to their previous levels in 2016, although the measures are not directly comparable. Updated vaping questions in 2017 asked about vaping of specific substances, while in previous years vaping questions were about any vaping in general. With this caveat, the percentage of students in 2017 who reported vaping flavoring, marijuana, or nicotine was similar to those who reported that they had vaped anything in 2016, with the two respective percentages for use in the past 30 days at 17% in 2017 and 13% in 2016 among 12th grade students, 13% and 11% for 10th grade students, and 7% and 6% for 8th grade students.

“These findings emphasize that vaping has progressed well beyond a cigarette alternative,” said Richard Miech. “Vaping has become a new delivery device for a number of substances, and this number will likely increase in the years to come.”

Cigarettes and Several Other Tobacco Products Decline in Use

Cigarette smoking by teens continued to decline in 2017. For the three grades combined, all measures (lifetime, 30-day, daily, and half-pack/day) are at historic lows since first measured in all three grades in 1991. Since the peak levels reached in the mid-1990s, lifetime prevalence has fallen by 71%, 30-day prevalence by 81%, daily prevalence by 86%, and current half-pack-a-day prevalence by 91%. The prevalence of smoking a half-pack-per-day in the 30 days before the survey now stands at just 0.2% for 8th graders, 0.7% for 10th graders, and 1.7% for 12th graders.

“The health implications of these dramatic declines in smoking are enormous for this generation of young people,” says Lloyd Johnston, the previous director of the study. “Long-term increases in perceived risk and personal disapproval of smoking have accompanied these changes, as has a long-term drop in the perceived availability of cigarettes to these age groups.”

Lifetime prevalence and daily prevalence both fell significantly in 2017; 30-day prevalence fell, but not significantly, and half-pack-a day prevalence held steady at low levels.

Smokeless tobacco also showed a continuing decline this year with 30-day prevalence reaching a low point for the three grades individually and combined. It has fallen for the grades combined by nearly two-thirds, from 9.7% in 1992 to 3.5% in 2017, including a non-significant drop in 2017 of 0.7%.

Snus, a form of smokeless tobacco, showed a significant decline in use this year for the three grades combined (annual prevalence fell from 3.6% to 2.6%).

Use of a hookah pipe to smoke tobacco had been increasing earlier in the decade and reached a substantial proportion of the age group, but annual prevalence has fallen by more than half since 2014, from 23% to 10% in 2017 for the three grades combined (including a significant decline this year of 2.9 percentage points). “The use of hookah appears to be fading out,” conclude the investigators.

Use of both flavored little cigars and regular little cigars is down modestly since first being measured in all three grades in 2014, but did not continue to decline this year. Thirty-day prevalence is at 5.4% for flavored and 3.7% for regular little cigars.

Alcohol Use Levels, After a Long Decline

In general, alcohol use by adolescents has been in a long-term decline that actually first began in the 1980s and was interrupted for a few years during the relapse phase in the substance use epidemic in the 1990s.

In 2017, however, lifetime prevalence, annual prevalence, 30-day prevalence, and daily prevalence all showed little or no change with no significant changes for any grade or for the three grades combined. This is the first time this has happened in many years and may herald the end of the long-term decline in adolescent alcohol use. It is worth noting, however, that prior to this year lifetime prevalence and annual prevalence for the three grades combined both trended down by roughly four-tenths from the peak levels of use reached in the mid-1990s; 30-day prevalence is down by about one-half since then; and daily prevalence is now down by two-thirds. “These are dramatic declines for such a culturally ingrained behavior and good news to many parents,” note the investigators. “However, we saw no further declines in 2017.”

Two measures of heavy alcohol use–having been drunk in the past 30 days and binge drinking (having had five or more drinks in a row at least once in the prior two weeks)—similarly have trended down by over half from their peak rates reached in the mid-to-late-1990s. However, the decline did not continue into 2017. In 2017 binge drinking was reported by 4% of 8th graders, 10%, of 10th graders, and 17% of 12 graders. Extreme binge drinking, defined as drinking 10 or more drinks, or even 15 or more drinks, in a row during a single occasion in the past two weeks was added to the study in 2005. Fortunately, both measures have seen a drop of more than half since their peak rates observed in 2006, but here also no further decline this year.

Use of Inhalants Increases among 8th graders

Use of inhalants significantly increased among 8th grade students in 2017. Inhalant use includes sniffing glue, gases, or sprays, and is an unusual type of substance use because it is more common among younger than older adolescents. In 2017, the percent of 8th grade students who had ever used inhalants in their lifetime increased 1.2% to 8.9%, a significant increase; use in the past 12 months increased 0.9% to 4.7%, also a significant increase. This upturn may mark the end of a gradual decline that started nearly a decade earlier in 2008.

For some years MTF has warned that inhalant use is primed to increase. Perceptions of risk from using inhalants among 8th graders have been steadily declining since 2010 (Table 8-1), which is often a leading indicator of future increases in prevalence.

Any illicit drug use including inhalants also significantly increased among 8th grade students in 2017. Lifetime use increased 2.7% to 23.3% and past 12 month use increased 2.3% to 15.8%, both significant increases. These increases were driven primarily by the upturn in inhalant use.

Heroin and Opioid Use Remains Low Among Adolescents

The opioid epidemic among adults has received much attention in recent months, and MTF offers the opportunity to see what is happening with opioid use among adolescents. Heroin use by adolescents has always been low, and did not significantly change in the 8th, 10th, or 12th grades in 2017, with annual use levels at 0.4% or lower in all three grades.

Misuse of prescription opioids is reported only for 12th grade students; it continued a decade-long decline in 2017, although this year’s decline was not statistically significant. Use in the past 12 months decreased 0.5% to 4.2% in 2017, and is now at a level that is less than half of the 9.5% prevalence recorded in 2004. Vicodin, which has had the highest level of use among the opioid analgesics, showed a significant decline in past 12 month use among 12th graders in 2017 from 2.9% to 2.0%. Its annual prevalence is now at the lowest levels in all three grades observed since it was first included in the study in 2002.

Tables summarizing estimates for the drugs discussed below, as well as additional drugs, are here: https://goo.gl/w78A5e.
The findings summarized here will be published by the end of April in a forthcoming volume.

1 Prevalence refers to the percent of the study sample that report using a drug once or more during a given period — i.e., in their lifetime, past 12 months [annual prevalence], past 30 days, and daily in the past 30 days.

About the Study

Monitoring the Future has been funded under a series of competing, investigator initiated research grants (R01 DA001411 and R01 DA016575) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the National Institutes of Health. The lead investigators are Richard Miech (principal investigator), John Schulenberg, Lloyd Johnston, Patrick O’Malley, Jerald Bachman, and Megan Patrick—all research professors at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Surveys of nationally representative samples of American high school seniors were begun in 1975, making the class of 2017 the 43rd such class surveyed. Surveys of 8th and 10th graders were added to the design in 1991, making the 2017 nationally representative samples the 27th such classes surveyed. The samples are drawn separately at each grade level to be representative of students in that grade in public and private secondary schools across the coterminous United States. The findings summarized here will be published in January in a forthcoming volume: Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R.A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2018). Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2017. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Institute for Social Research, the University of Michigan. The content presented here is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or the National Institutes of Health.

Contact

Nicholas Prieur, 734-763-5043, mtfpressrelease@umich.edu

National study shows marijuana use among U.S. college students at highest level in three decades

Monitoring the Future logo

Marijuana use among U.S. college students in 2016 was at the highest level seen in past three decades, according to the most recent findings from the national Monitoring the Future Follow-up study. College student marijuana use has been showing a steady increase over the past decade.

The tables and figures associated with this story are available here

In 2016, 39 percent of full-time college students aged 19-22 indicated that they used marijuana at least once in the prior 12 months, and 22 percent indicated that they used at least once in the prior 30 days. Both of these 2016 percentages are the highest found since 1987, and represent a steady increase since 2006 (when they were 30 and 17 percent, respectively).

However, the 2016 percentages are still below the peaks in use found in the early 1980s when 12-month and 30-day prevalence reached over 50 and 33 percent, respectively. (Findings on college students were first available in the study in 1980.) Daily or near daily use of marijuana—defined as having used 20 or more times in the prior 30 days—was at 4.9 percent in 2016; this is among the highest levels seen for over 30 years, though it has not shown any further rise in the past two years.

John Schulenberg

John Schulenberg

“These continuing increases in marijuana use, particularly heavy use, among the nation’s college students deserve attention from college personnel as well as students and their parents,” said John Schulenberg, the current principal investigator of the Monitoring the Future Follow-up study. “We know from our research and that of others that heavy marijuana use is associated with poor academic performance and non-completion of college.”

“Colleges are not simply inheriting this problem from high schools. Marijuana use has remained steady in recent years among the nation’s high school seniors, so this increase among college students suggests it has something to do with college and young adulthood experiences,” Schulenberg further noted.

There may be multiple reasons for the continuing increase in marijuana use among college students (and among their non-college peers). But one likely reason, according to the study results, is the ongoing decline in perceptions of risk of harm from regular marijuana use. In 2016, 30 percent of those aged 19-22 perceived regular use of marijuana as carrying great risk of harm, the lowest level reached since 1980.

“This percentage peaked at 75 percent in 1991, when marijuana use among college students and their non-college age-mates was at historic lows,” said Lloyd Johnston, the original principal investigator of the Monitoring the Future Follow-up study. “We have consistently seen this inverse relationship between perceptions of risks of harm and actual use, with changes in perceptions of risk typically preceding changes in use.”

In 2016, 12-month and 30-day marijuana use were similar for full-time college males and females, but daily marijuana use was higher for college males (6.6 percent) than college females (3.9 percent). Twelve-month and 30-day marijuana use tend to be lower among full-time college students than among their same-age peers who are not in college full-time. This is particularly true for daily marijuana use, with daily use among non-college youth being two and one-half times as high—at 12.8 percent in 2016, the highest level since this panel study began in 1980—versus 4.9 percent among full-time college students.

Marijuana in rolling paper, held by a man's hands.

Photo Credit: Ablestock/Thinkstock

These findings emanate from the long term Monitoring the Future study, which has been tracking substance use of all kinds among American college students for the past 37 years. It is conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Michigan and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These results are based on full-time students who are one to four years beyond high school graduation and are enrolled in a two- or four-year college in March of the given year.

Use of Other Illicit Drugs

The use of any illicit drug (including marijuana) has been gradually increasing among college students, with annual prevalence (that is, any use in the prior 12 months) reaching 42 percent in 2016, the highest level over the past 30 years. But most of this recent increase has been due to the increase in marijuana use noted above.

Annual use of illicit drugs other than marijuana among college students has leveled in recent years, with about one in five students reporting using an illicit drug other than, and usually in addition to, marijuana at least once in the prior 12 months. There was an increase in annual use from 2008 through 2014, but this increase appears to have stalled at a relatively high level over the past few years. In 2016, 20 percent of college students used an illicit drug other than marijuana at least once in the prior 12 months. Between 2013 and 2016, this percentage has ranged between 19 and 21 percent, among the highest percentages seen since the late 1980s.

This index of illicit drugs other than marijuana consists of numerous illicit drugs, most of which have leveled or declined in use in recent years.

In particular, the non-medical use of prescription narcotic drugs (other than heroin) has shown some leveling in the past few years among college students. Annual prevalence declined from a peak of 8.8 percent in 2006 to 3.3 percent in 2015; but it increased non-significantly to 3.8 percent in 2016, suggesting that this important decline in the use of narcotics without medical supervision may be ending.

Use of heroin, another narcotic drug, has been low among college students for many years. The highest annual prevalence recorded since 1980 was in 1998 at 0.6 percent, but has been at or under 0.3 percent since 2005 and was down to 0.2 percent in 2016.

Use of amphetamines without medical supervision has leveled in the past few years among college students. Annual prevalence has held steady at about 10 percent since 2013, after a steady increase from 5.7 percent in 2008. Notably, amphetamine use tends to be higher among college students than non-college youth, likely due to college students using them to try to improve their academic performance.

The use of MDMA (ecstasy and more recently “Molly”) had made a bit of a comeback among college students, increasing between 2007 (2.2 percent) and 2012 (5.8 percent), but then declining through 2015 (4.2 percent). It increased non-significantly to 4.7 percent in 2016, suggesting that use of this substance among college students is leveling.

The use of LSD among college students has been gradually increasing from an historic low of 0.7 percent in 2005 to 3.1 percent in 2016, still well below its historic peak of 6.3 percent in 1982.

Cocaine use among college students has been level in recent years. In 2016, annual cocaine use was 4.0 percent, similar to 2014 and 2015. This constitutes a slight increase from a recent low of 2.7 percent in 2013, but far below the historic highs of 17 percent in the mid-1980s.

Certain drugs have declined in popularity quite rapidly among the nation’s college students. For example, annual use of synthetic marijuana, which is usually sold over the counter under such brand names as “K2” and “Spice,” dropped from 8.5 percent when first measured in 2011 to just 1.3 percent in 2016—a decline of about 85 percent in just five years. Annual use of Salvia has fallen from 5.8 percent when its use was first measured in 2009 to just 0.7 percent in 2016—a decline of almost 90 percent.

Some other drugs never gained much of a foothold on American college campuses, with use being at near-zero prevalence among college students in 2016. Drugs for which annual use was 0.5 percent or less in 2016 among college students included: ketamine, methamphetamine, crystal methamphetamine (ice), steroids, crack cocaine, “bath salts” (a form of synthetic stimulants), and GHB.

In general, college males are more likely than college females to use illicit drugs other than marijuana. But in recent years, some of the gender gaps have decreased. In 2016, college females, compared to college males, had similar or slightly higher annual prevalence of Adderall, narcotics other than heroin (OxyContin, and Vicodin specifically), sedatives, and synthetic marijuana. With the exception of amphetamines, illicit drug use tends to be lower among college students compared to same-age non-college youth.

Alcohol Use

Alcohol continues to remain the drug of choice among college students, with 79 percent indicating that they used in the prior 12 months and 63 percent in the prior 30 days in 2016. Indeed, 61 percent say that they were drunk at least once in the prior 12 months and 41 percent in the prior 30 days. Thus, drinking and drunkenness remain commonplace on the nation’s college campuses, even though there has been some modest falloff in these rates since the early 1980s. For both 12-month and 30-day alcohol use in 2016, female college students report slightly higher prevalence than college males. Alcohol use tends to be higher among college students than same-aged non-college youth. It is noteworthy, however, that in high school, college-bound 12th graders are less involved in alcohol (and other substances) than other 12th graders, indicating that the higher levels of alcohol use among college students compared to same-age non-college youth emerges after high school.

Lazy student with beer and cigarette on hand

Photo credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Thinkstock

Binge drinking—defined as having five or more drinks on at least one occasion in the past two weeks—was reported by 32 percent of all college students in 2016. While binge drinking has gradually declined among college males over the past thirty years, there has been little change among college females, resulting in some closing of the gender gap (though males have consistently had a higher rate of binge drinking). Across the years, binge drinking has been more common among college students than same-aged non-college youth.

Although having 5 or more drinks in a row can be dangerous, college students often drink at more dangerous levels. This is what is called “extreme binge drinking” or “high intensity drinking” and is defined as having 10 or more drinks—or even 15 or more drinks—on at least one occasion in the prior two weeks. Over the years 2012 to 2016 combined, about one in ten college students (10.1 percent) reported having 10 or more drinks in a row on at least one occasion in the prior two weeks; one in 30 (3.4 percent) reported having 15 or more drinks in a row at least once in the same interval. These percentages are much higher among college males than females, with 16.5 percent and 6.6 percent of college males having 10+ and 15+ drinks in a row in the past two weeks (corresponding percentages for college females were 6.2 percent and 1.4 percent).

“Excessive drinking clearly remains the major substance use problem on campuses,” said Schulenberg. “Having 10 or more drinks in a row, which is now happening for one-in-six college males at least once per two-week period, can result in alcohol poisoning, serious accidents, and a host of unwise decisions and dangerous behaviors that adversely affect them and those around them.”

Tobacco Use

Cigarette smoking continues to decline gradually among college students, and the cumulative decline over the past 17 years has been dramatic. A peak rate of any smoking in the prior 30 days was reached in 1999 at 30.6 percent. By 2016 the rate had fallen by over two-thirds to 8.9 percent, a record low and the first time it has been under 10 percent. Daily smoking declined even more, from 19.3 percent in 1999 to 2.6 percent in 2016—a drop of over four-fifths and also a record low since 1980. This continued decline in college student cigarette smoking corresponds to what has been found among the nation’s high school students, indicating that this ongoing improvement has its source in fewer teens initiating cigarette smoking.

From 1980 through 1993, college females had higher rates of smoking than college males; but since 1994, males have had higher rates.

Compared to college students, same-aged non-college youth have dramatically higher rates of smoking: in 2016, 18.8 percent indicated prior 30-day smoking vs. 8.9 percent among the college students. Heavy smoking is even more concentrated among those not in college, with their half-pack or more daily smoking being 5.7 percent versus 1.7 percent among college students. Cigarette smoking is decreasing among non-college youth, but their smoking still remains much higher than among college youth, emphasizing that in this country, cigarette smoking has long been negatively correlated with educational attainment.

Use of other forms of tobacco, including using a hookah, small cigars, snus, and dissolvable tobacco also have been decreasing among college students, and these continuing decreases were evident in 2016.

Electronic vaporizers, which include e-cigarettes, were used in the 30 days prior to the survey by 6.9 percent of full-time college students in 2016, with use being higher among college males (9.5 percent) than among college females (5.2 percent). These percentages declined non-significantly from 2015 levels.

“The findings regarding tobacco use continue to be an important part of the good news from our study,” noted Schulenberg. “The new record lows in cigarette smoking among college students, combined with declines in the use of other forms of tobacco suggests that today’s college students have been given the context and tools to increasingly avoid tobacco use, a benefit that will accrue with age.”

About the study

The Monitoring the Future study (MTF) is now in its 43rd year. Starting in 1980, the MTF Follow-up has included nationally representative samples of full-time college students who are one to four years beyond high school. The annual samples of college students have ranged between about 900 and 1,500 per year.

MTF is an investigator-initiated research undertaking, conceived and conducted by a team of research professors (listed as authors below) at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. It is funded under a series of peer-reviewed, competitive research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the National Institutes of Health.

The MTF Main study conducts annual national surveys of high school seniors, from which random, nationally representative subsamples are drawn for follow-up by mail in future years. Of these follow-up respondents, those who are one to four years beyond high school and who report being in a 2-year or 4-year college full-time in March comprise the college student sample each year. They are not drawn from particular colleges or universities, which helps to make the sample more representative of the wide range of two-and four-year institutions of higher education in the country.

A shorter version of the news release is available here.

The findings presented here are drawn from Chapters 5, 8 and 9 in this newly published monograph:

Schulenberg, J.E., Johnston, L.D., O’Malley, P.M, Bachman, J.G., Miech, R.A., & Patrick, M.E. (2017). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2016: Volume 2, College students and adults ages 19-55. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, 445 pp. Available at http://www.monitoringthefuture.org//pubs/monographs/mtf-vol2_2016.pdf

Contact

Morgan Sherburne, 734-647-1844, morganls@umich.edu

Teen vaping “one way bridge” to future smoking

Teen vapers may become “desensitized” to cigarette smoking health risks

Teen vaping acts as a “one way bridge” to future smoking among those who have never smoked before, and may not stop those who have smoked before from returning to it, University of Michigan researchers conclude. These findings were published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

closeup of woman smoking e-cigarette and enjoying smoke.

Photo credit: Thinkstock/diego_cervo

The researchers, from U-M’s Monitoring the Future survey out of the Institute for Social Research, base their findings on a follow-up sample of 347 out of 822 originally targeted 12th graders (17-18 year olds), who had been randomly selected in 2014 from more than 13,000 students across 122 schools.

The 2014 survey and its follow-up one year later in 2015 asked the teens about substance use, including vaping and conventional cigarette smoking.

Analysis of the responses showed that e-cigarettes were among the most popular substances that the teens said they used, and the prevalence of recent vaping (within the past 30 days) was around 50% higher than it was for conventional smoking.

Most of the respondents thought that cigarette smoking was harmful, with 80% in both the 2014 and follow-up surveys feeling that one or more packs daily packs posed a ‘great risk.’

Teens who had never smoked a cigarette before reaching 12th grade, but who had used an e-cigarette at least once within the past 30 days, were more than four times as likely to say that they had smoked a cigarette by the follow-up survey (31%) as those who hadn’t vaped (7%).

All the new smokers who were also recent vapers said they had smoked only ‘once or twice’ during the preceding 12 months.

This difference between vapers and non-vapers held true even after accounting for potentially influential factors, such as sex, ethnicity, and their parents’ educational attainment.

For those who had ever smoked by the time of the 2014 survey, the prevalence of smoking during the preceding 12 months was more than twice as high among teens who were also vapers in 2014 (80%) than it was among those who weren’t (37%).

Vaping also significantly predicted cigarette smoking in the preceding 12 months at the follow-up survey among teens who had smoked at some point previously, but not recently (63% vs 27%), even among those who felt that smoking was very harmful.

And among teens who said they had never smoked by the time of the 2014 survey, recent vapers were four times as likely to move away from the belief that cigarette smoking poses a great risk as those who hadn’t vaped, possibly because they become desensitized to the harms of smoking, suggest the researchers.

This is an observational study so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, added to which the researchers point to several caveats.

The analysis did not take account of the substances in the e-cigarettes the teens vaped, nor the different frequencies of vaping at the time of the 2014 survey. The number of responses to the follow-up survey was relatively small, which may have introduced some element of bias, while other factors associated with susceptibility to smoking take-up among teens, such as rebelliousness and the influence of friends, were not included.

But the researchers say the results contribute to the growing body of evidence for vaping as a “one way bridge” to cigarette smoking teens. “These results bolster findings for vaping as a one way bridge to cigarette smoking among adolescents,” they write.

“The results support a desensitization process, whereby youth who vape lower their perceived risk of cigarette smoking,” they add.

Contact

Kory Zhao, koryzhao@umich.edu, 734-647-9069

Working a lot in high school can short-change students’ future

girl reading (Photo by Thinkstock)

High school students who work more than 15 hours a week during the school year may be short-changing their futures, risking long-term education and health.

New research from the University of Michigan, tracking young adults through their 20s nationwide, suggests that long hours at a job during 12th grade contribute to lower rates of college completion and may heighten the risk of chronic cigarette use. Continue reading