The Wall Street Journal (12/20, A3, Dooren, Subscription Publication) reports the survey, conducted by the University of Michigan, found that cigarette smoking among adolescents in the US fell to record lows. Additionally, it found that a rise in marijuana use among teens appears to have leveled off. The annual report revealed that the number of teens who reported smoking cigarettes dipped to 10.6% in 2012 — down from 11.7% in 2011.
Marijuana Use Levels Off. Bloomberg News (12/20, Lopatto) reports that “marijuana use among US high school seniors is leveling off, ending four years of increases in annual prevalence,” according to the survey. Bloomberg News says that “thirty-six percent of high school seniors surveyed in 2012 said they smoked marijuana at least once in the previous year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse said.” Lloyd Johnston, a research professor at the University of Michigan who led the study, stated, “There isn’t much evidence for increasing use this year,” adding that the “use of a great many drugs are holding steady.”
Perception Of Marijuana Dangers At 20-Year Low. The AP (12/20, Yen) reports that “teenagers’ perception of the dangers of marijuana has fallen to the lowest level in more than 20 years,” the study says, “prompting federal researchers to warn that already high use of the drug could increase as more states move to legalize it.” According to the article, “the annual survey released Wednesday by the National Institutes of Health found that only 41.7 percent of eighth graders believe that occasional use of marijuana is harmful, while 66.9 percent regard it as dangerous when used regularly.” Moreover, “teens’ perception of marijuana risks diminished even more as they got older.” Approximately 20.6 percent of 12th graders indicated that occasional pot use is harmful, and about 44.1 percent thought that regular pot use was detrimental.
— “Teen Smoking Keeps Falling, “Jennifer Corbett Dooren, The Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2012.