More U.S. teens are now smoking marijuana than cigarettes, according to a new government survey.
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the results of the survey, which found that 23 percent of high school students say that they've recently smoked marijuana, while 19 percent of high school students say that they've recently smoked cigarettes.
This marks the first time that marijuana use has eclipsed cigarette smoking. One expert says that a factor in rising marijuana use is that teens perceive the drug to be less harmful for their health than cigarettes.
Cigarette smoking, on the other hand, has been on the decline in recent years. The 2011 Monitoring the Future study, conducted at the University of Michigan, found that decreasing numbers of students in grades eight, 10 and 12 reported having smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days. Among high school seniors, 18.7 percent reported cigarette use in the past month, compared to 21.6 percent in 2006.
The study also found that alcohol use is on the decline among American teens. For 12th graders, 63.5 percent of reported drinking in the past year, compared to a high of 74.8 percent in 1997.
Along with the recent rise in marijuana use, a recent study on teen drug use and driving found that 19 percent of teen drivers have reported driving under the influence of marijuana -- and over a third said that they believe the drug has no effect on their driving abilities.
Another recent study found a link between loud music and drug use, with results showing that teens who blast music from their headphones are more likely to smoke marijuana.
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