The 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey was released this week and it shows that vaping is growing in popularity among students.
“We’ve seen marked increases just in the last year or two,” said Dr. Wilson Compton with the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What we’ve just learned is that it’s not only nicotine, but marijuana vaping has also been increasing quite dramatically. About 14% of 12th graders, 13% of 10th graders and even 4% of the 8th graders, that’s one or two kids in every class in the 8th grade reporting marijuana vaping in the past month.”
The legalization of marijuana for adults and the changing attitudes stemming from that have had an effect on teens.
“Teens are more likely to endorse a pro-legalization stand than they used to be,” said Compton. “They’re more likely to approve of the use of marijuana by their peers. Despite some of these changes in attitudes, the use of marijuana by teens has not increased as much as some of us thought it might.”
The MTF survey is the only comprehensive federal government survey on teen drug use that releases findings the same year the data is collected.
“Researchers from the University of Michigan go all across the country to about 400 public and private schools each year,” said Compton. “They conduct the survey privately in classes themselves. The students fill out the questionnaire themselves and provide the answers directly to the researchers in a private, anonymous and confidential way.”
The survey takes place in the second semester of school, so the grade levels are those of students in the spring of 2019.