Marijuana Use Exceeds Cigarette Use Among College Students for First Time

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A recent study found that, for the first time, daily marijuana use is more common than daily cigarette use among U.S. college students. According to survey findings, marijuana use among college students is at the highest rate since 1980, with approximately one in 17 college students smoking marijuana daily or almost daily.

The survey was conducted as part of the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, an initiative that has monitored substance use in college students nationwide for more than 30 years.

Findings also demonstrated that occasional use of marijuana is on the rise as well. Between 2006 and 2014, the percentage of students claiming to have used marijuana at least once in the past 30 days increased by four percent. The number of students reporting marijuana use within the last year also increased by four percent during this time period.

The rise in daily marijuana use is in sharp contrast to a decrease in daily cigarette smoking rates, which declined by 14 percent between 1999 and 2014. Those involved in the study attribute the shift in behavior to changing views on substance safety. Results indicated that marijuana was viewed as dangerous by a decreasing number of survey responders. When polled in 2006, 55 percent of Americans between the ages of 19 and 22 viewed marijuana as dangerous. In 2014, only 35 percent of this age group recognized marijuana’s dangers.

The principal investigator of the study noted that marijuana use in this demographic has been on the rise throughout the past several years, and mirrors the uptick of the substance’s use among U.S. high school seniors.

As college students prepare to enter the workforce, it is important for employers to recognize and anticipate the impact such behaviors could have on the workplace environment. If you would like to know more about increasing marijuana rates or receive information on drug testing, please contact Partners In Safety today.

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