Just as many teenagers use cannabis every day as smoke cigarettes, according to Cannabis in Canada, a report from the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo. The report was published as a supplement to the centre’s Tobacco Use in Canada: Patterns and Trends report, and it found that 2% of Canadian students in grades 7 to 12 (equivalent to more than 43 000 students) use marijuana every day. Daily smoking is similar at 1.8%, according to the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs Survey, a biennial survey administered to students in grades 7 to 12 across Canada by a consortium of researchers, the Propel Centre, and Health Canada. Occasional cannabis use also remains high among youth (one in five students report ever trying it, and one in 10 reports use in the last 30 days).
The Cannabis in Canada report also found a strong association between tobacco use and marijuana consumption. More than 90% of students in grades 7 to 12 who were current smokers also reported trying cannabis. Close to 9% (155 000 students) who have never tried a cigarette have tried cannabis.
Patterns of co-using tobacco and cannabis have changed dramatically over the past 20 years. In 2011, 92% of tobacco users reported also using cannabis, compared to 16% in 1991.
The health effects associated with cannabis depend on three primary factors: the frequency of use, age of initiation, and use among high-risk groups or settings. Early initiation and heavier use of cannabis among youth is consistently associated with more severe long-term negative outcomes.
Tobacco Use in Canada: Patterns and Trends and the supplement, Cannabis in Canada, are available at www.tobaccoreport.ca.
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Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
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