For teens, vaping pot is worse than vaping nicotine, new study reports

The Indiana Dept of Ed and Indiana State Dept of Health are joining forces to conduct regional training seminars for educators who are dealing with vaping issues at school

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Teens who vape pot are at a greater risk of developing lung conditions compared to those who vape nicotine, smoke cigarettes or marijuana. This is according to a recent study from University of Michigan researchers. 

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The results surprised investigators, as they say the findings “challenge conventional wisdom.”

“I thought that e-cigarettes (vaping nicotine) would be the nicotine product most strongly associated with worrisome respiratory symptoms,” said study co-author Carol Boyd, Ph.D. in a news release. “Our data challenges the assumption that smoking cigarettes or vaping nicotine is the most harmful to the lungs.”

Boyd and her team assessed nearly 15,000 pre-teens and teens between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. They found vaping marijuana was associated with an 81% increase in chest wheezing or whistling compared to just a 15% increased risk from cigarettes, followed by a 9% increase from nicotine e-cigarettes. 

Teens also reported having other side effects as a result of vaping pot, including a 71% increase in disrupted sleep because of wheezing and a 96% increase in trouble speaking — also because of wheezing. In addition, teens who vaped marijuana had a 33% heightened risk of wheezing after exercising and a 26% increased risk of dry coughing at night irrespective of a chest infection — compared to their vaping/smoking counterparts. 

“In short, it is all bad, but if you vape cannabis, you have a greater number of respiratory symptoms than if you just smoke cigarettes or marijuana or vape e-cigarettes,” Boyd added. “Without a doubt, cigarettes and e-cigarettes are unhealthy and not good for the lungs. However, vaping marijuana appears even worse.”