Pubdate: Tue, 16 Sep 2003
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Copyright: 2003 Associated Press
Author: Siobhan McDonough, Associated Press Writer
Bookmark: (Youth)


WASHINGTON -- Youngsters who smoke cigarettes are more likely to use
marijuana than those who don't smoke, according to a study released Tuesday.

The report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at
Columbia University and the American Legacy Foundation said young cigarette
smokers are 14 times more likely to try pot. Eighty-four percent of the kids
who have tried marijuana have smoked cigarettes within the past 30 days.

The study focusing on 12- to 17-year-olds also found those who smoke
cigarettes are six times likelier to be able to buy marijuana in an hour or
less and 18 times likelier to say most of their friends smoke pot.

"Pot is a significant presence in the lives of teenage smokers," said Joseph
Califano Jr., president of the addiction center. "If kids are regularly
smoking, you should be concerned they are smoking pot."

Califano said anti-tobacco campaigns can make help reduce pot smoking among
young Americans and urged the Bush administration to educate people on the
dangers of tobacco use.

Young people perceive a link between cigarette smoking and pot use: When
asked whether they think that a kid who smokes cigarettes is more likely to
use pot, 77 percent responded yes.

The study found:

-Among those who acknowledge having tried marijuana, those who do not smoke
cigarettes are likelier to have tried pot only once.

-Teens who have tried pot and are current cigarette smokers are 60 percent
likelier to be repeat marijuana users.

-Fifty-five percent of those who are current cigarette smokers report more
than half their friends use marijuana.

-Among the kids who have tried pot, 57 percent first smoked cigarettes; 29
percent never smoked cigarettes; and 13 percent either tried pot and
cigarettes at the same time or tried pot before cigarettes.

In the survey by QEV Analytics, 1,987 teenagers and 504 parents of teenagers
were interviewed between April 30 and July 14 over the telephone. The margin
of error for the 2003 survey is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

On the Net:

National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University:

American Legacy Foundation: