December 14, 2010 - For the first time since 1981, high school seniors reporting they had smoked marijuana in the last 30 days outnumbered those who said they smoked cigarettes. (In 2010, 21.4% of high school seniors said they had smoked pot in the month before, while 19.2% reported they were cigarette smokers.)
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)on Tuesday, December 14th issued its 2010 "Monitoring the Future" survey--a yearly look at kids' drug and tobacco use patterns and attitudes. The remarkable crossover of the lines for marijuana use and tobacco use is a victory for public-health campaigns aimed at stamping out cigarette smoking among teens. But the federal office that tracks illicit drug use said it is driven by an uptick in youth marijuana use that is broad-based and likely to continue.
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, called the rise in daily use of marijuana particularly troubling, given that more frequent use, and by teens whose brains are still developing, has been shown to be more damaging to learning and memory than less frequent use. Daily users are also at far higher risk of developing dependency on marijuana and other drugs, she said. She said "one can only speculate at this point" about the cause of pot's reversal, which began roughly three years ago after a decade of declining use.
NIDA - Monitoring the Future Survey 2010..
Reference: Rising marijuana use leaves tobacco in a cloud of smoke, Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 12/14/2010.