Teens using e-cigs for pot, too

American teens are using their ingenuity to find new uses for electronic cigarettes.

Yale University researchers surveyed 3,847 Connecticut high-schoolers and found nearly one in five teenage e-cigarette users have also used the device to vaporize cannabis or byproducts like hash oil.

“This is a relatively novel way of using marijuana, and kids are using it at a fairly high rate,” said lead author Meghan E. Morean in a news release.

Nationally, e-cigarette use among teens is on the rise, and 28 percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the current study. Of those users, 19 percent said they’ve used the e-cigs to vaporize marijuana.

“The smell of vaping marijuana isn’t as strong as smoking it, plus the similarity in appearance of hash oil and nicotine solutions make this a really inconspicuous way of using marijuana,” Morean said in the news release.

In Clark County, 24 percent of high school seniors were current users of e-cigarettes in 2014 – up from 5 percent in 2012, according to the statewide Healthy Youth Survey administered every two years.

The Yale researchers pointed out that vaping concentrated liquid forms of marijuana can be much more potent than smoking dried leaves.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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