The study claims that
more and more youngsters are co- using marijuana than previously.
The experts from the
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) are of the opinion that a big
increase is noticed in the young adults using both tobacco and marijuana
as compared to its previous statistics of 35 percent.
One of the researcher
stated, "The data presented are far more consistent with what I hear
simply by speaking with thousands of students of middle and high school
age," noted Stephen Dewey, an addiction researcher and director of the
Laboratory for Behavioral and Molecular Neuroimaging at the Feinstein Institute
for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y. "The importance of getting
accurate data like these cannot be stressed enough, as treatment programs and
the financial support required for them are often guided by studies that
demonstrate both prevalence and risk."
The study was
conducted online via Facebook, Craigslist and paid email advertising campaign
and the participants were allowed to keep their identity secret. It therefore
resulted in being a source of more authentic and accurate information provider
regarding the usage of tobacco and marijuana.
Danielle Ramo, the
principal investigator of this study and a postdoctoral scholar in the UCSF
Department of Psychiatry mentioned, "We were curious whether rates would
be different in our study where we reached out through social media and the
Web. And rates were much higher, which shows the problem might be larger than
The study was
conducted in two phases.
In the first phase the
experts questioned the volunteers about their smoking habits and in the second
phase 1808 smokers who completed the online survey were queried to tell whether
they had consumed marijuana in the past 30 days.
The study showed that
out of 68 percent of the participants who smoked daily, 53 percent confessed
that they also consumed marijuana during the past month.
According to the
experts it was also found that the usage of both tobacco and marijuana was more
in whites, people dwelling in Northeast, rural population and in young adults.
senior study author and an associate professor of psychiatry at UCSF stated,
"Residence in a medical marijuana state was unrelated to the prevalence of
marijuana use as well as the co-use of marijuana and tobacco in this young
adult sample. The prevalence of marijuana use also did not differ by
respondents' age, income or gender."
Bruce Goldman, the
director of Substance Abuse Services at The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen
Oaks, NY mentioned, "Those who suffer from mental health and substance
abuse problems have an extremely high rate of nicotine dependence. It stands to
reason that those seeking help to quit smoking also would have high
rates of substance abuse including cannabis."
A difference of
opinion existed among the authors regarding the need of programs to help young
adults to quit smoking and discourage the usage of marijuana. According to them
the next step was to introduce effective therapies and counseling in Facebook
that would help people to quit their addiction.
said, "Adapting the social media aspect into intervention and
incorporating the social environment are new ways to approach finding the most
effective means for treatment."
Dr. Judith Prochaska
concluded that the sample of young adults showed high levels of marijuana and
tobacco irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity or income.
The respondents should
take the services of a qualified counselor or a rehabilitation centre.
Prevalence and co-use
of marijuana among young adult cigarette smokers: An anonymous online national
survey; Danielle Ramo et al; Addiction Science & Clinical Practice 2012