(CBS) – There is alarming news about teenagers who use vaping devices with marijuana. New government research out this week finds that use is actually hitting record numbers. This comes right after the government passed a new bill that’ll raise the age to buy tobacco products including vaping items from 18 to 21.
The new study shows the number of high school teens vaping THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is rising dramatically. Nationwide, roughly one in five 10th and 12th graders have vaped marijuana in the last 12 months, that’s more than a 7 percent increase from just last year. It all adds up to at least a million new teenage marijuana vapers in 2019.
Attorney Louise Renne is suing vape producer, Juul, on behalf of five San Francisco area school districts. They accuse the company of marketing nicotine vapes to young people.
“The fact that you can hide it, you can’t see it, often you can’t see the smoke all contributes I believe to the widespread use of vaping,” said Renne. “Once you start vaping one product it seems to me it’s very easy to start vaping another product.”
THC, which is showing up more and more even in states where marijuana is still illegal, it’s part of a thriving black market, as we found with hidden cameras at an underground marijuana event outside Los Angeles.
What’s still unknown, is if the highly publicized vaping illnesses and health warnings will drive the teen trend down.
Lawmakers hope the new mandate of raising the age to buy tobacco products, like vaping devices, will help stop this trend. That mandate goes into effect later next year.