HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Steady Increase in Marijuana Use
Pubdate: Fri, 08 Dec 2006
Source: Tribune, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006, Osprey Media Group Inc.
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)


More Teens Use Pot Before Tobacco, Conference Hears

Niagara Falls - Some young people start off by smoking marijuana even
before they try cigarettes, says Dr. Scott Leatherdale, researcher at
Cancer Care Ontario, University of Waterloo and University of Toronto.

That's quite the opposite of how things used to be years

"We do have some evidence that shows there are a population of kids
who use marijuana before tobacco," said Leatherdale, who was in
Niagara Falls Tuesday speaking at the Ontario Tobacco Control
conference held at the Sheraton on the Falls.

There are other kids who will try marijuana and tobacco at about the
same time.

More than 550 tobacco control health professionals, members of health
organizations and other interested individuals are attending the
three-day conference that began Monday.

According to a 2004 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, there has
been a steady increase in marijuana use over the past decade.

In 1994, 28 per cent of Canadian young adults 18 years and older
reported using marijuana at least once in their life. Today, that
number has increased to 45 per cent. Fourteen per cent reported using
marijuana this past year, indicating a seven per cent increase since

"We're doing more and more research with young adults in the area of
tobacco control. The more we talk to them about tobacco use, the more
we hear about marijuana use, so we decided to look at that," said

Despite the obvious problem of increased usage, he added, there is the
issue of using tobacco in joints or pipe smoking to assist in burning
or to titrate the effect of the marijuana.

Leatherdale said there is a misconception that marijuana use is
healthier than tobacco and that may not be the case. There is limited
data available to actually make that determination.

"It's likely that it will have the same negative health effects
because it is a combustible product that is inhaled," said

In 2004, approximately 1.9 million Canadians between the ages of 15
and 24 reported trying marijuana and 1.1 million reported using in the
last year.

While 590,000 reported using pot three or less times per month,
430,000 of all young adults reported using marijuana weekly or daily.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake