Survey Finds out that US Nation’s Teens Are Smoking More Pot and Less Cigarette

Daryl Diaz, Reporter

According to an article from “Education Week” Magazine  by writer Nirvi Shah, American teenagers are more likely to smoke marijuana than a cigarette. The National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that one in nine high school seniors has tried synthetic marijuana.

In early December, Monitoring the Future Survey for 2011 that involved 26, 773 students of public and private schools across the nation, displayed that 8th, 10th, and 12th graders smoking cigarettes daily  has decreased and that use of marijuana has increased in the past five years.  The survey discovered that 36. 4 percent of seniors have smoked pot in the last year, including 7 percent using daily, compared with 31.5 and 5 percent five years ago.

Teens are thinking that use of marijuana is not dangerous or risky. Five years ago, 25. 9 percent of seniors thought that smoking weed would be a risk in one’s health, now 22.7 percent think so. For 8th graders 48. 9 percent thought it was dangerous 5 years ago and now 43. 4 percent thinks it is risky.

Dr. Wilson Compton, the director of the division of epidemiology, services, and prevention research at NIDA, in Bethesda, MD, finds the situation surprising and unnerving and thinks the rates are way too high. When interviewed by Shah, Compton voiced what he thought about the use of synthetic drugs. He said, “We were quite surprised by how common this is.”

More teens are smoking marijuana not only because it’s a trend and peer pressure or because parents are not educating their teens, but because there is now a synthetic marijuana that is easily accessible. Synthetic marijuana is over the counter in smoke shops under the name “K2” and “Spice.” Teens are thinking that because the drug is over the counter and not illegal, it is even more safe to use; reports of use of the drug say teens have been poisoned or killed (see related article “Synthetic Marijuana”).