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Teens using e-cigarettes to vape marijuana

E-cigarette usage is on the rise among adults and teens, but an alarming trend is the use of the vapor cigarettes to vape cannabis among teens, according to a report sent out by the Partnership 4 Health.

The report, “High School Students’ Use of Electronic Cigarettes to Vaporize Cannabis”, concluded that “the rate of vaporizing cannabis using e-cigarettes were high,” and raises concerns about that lack of e-cigarette regulations and the potential use of e-cigarettes “for purposes other than vaping nicotine.”

According to an anonymous survey conducted for the report in the spring of 2014 of 3,847 students at Connecticut high schools, an increasing number of students reported using e-cigs to vape hash oil and wax infused with tetrahydrocannabinol and dried cannabis.

“It’s definitely going up in middle and high school students,” Jason McCoy, tobacco prevention coordinator for P4H, said. “I’ve talked to kids I come in contact with through youth groups, and they have heard about it. Usage is increasing in Otter Tail County."

McCoy can’t say how much, though, because there hasn’t been a lot of reporting on the use of e-cigarettes and vaping cannabis throughout Otter Tail County, McCoy said. However, it is a trend that adults need to be on the lookout for, he said.

The number of complaints of kids using e-cigarettes or those caught in the act of using them is increasing in Perham, according to Police Chief Jason Hoaby, adding that his office receives more complaints on the use of the nicotine vaporizers among teens than regular cigarettes. But he hasn’t heard of them vaping cannabis, he said.

“A lot of time kids don’t realize (use of e-cigs) is illegal,” he said. “But it’s the same as having a pack of regular cigarettes on your person.”

As with nearly anything, if kids want to get a hold of an illegal product, they find a way, McCoy said. They can buy it directly off the Internet by simply checking a box that says they are 18 and use a credit card, or sneak and steal the product.

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