New research by scientists at the University of Toronto suggests that teen students who smoke marijuana outperform their tobacco-smoking peers academically and in other ways.
The study, published in the Journal of School Health, was conducted using 20 years of data provided by the Center for Addiction and Mental Health’s Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, reports the Daily Mail.
A total of 38,331 students participated in the survey from 1981 to 2011.
According to the Canadian researchers, marijuana usage hits its peak in popularity about a decade ago. Getting stoned is not quite as popular now. At the same time, teens perceive it as a totally normal thing to do.
On the other hand, smoking just isn’t cool these days.
Consequently, the researchers have concluded, teens now view cannabis as a safer drug than tobacco, and the socially and academically adept ones are much more likely to choose it.
“In the past, cannabis use was associated with more problematic behaviors, but this trend has flipped’, said Dr. Michael Chaiton, one of the researchers.
“Youth tobacco users are likely to have poor academic performance and engage in socially deviant behaviors, like vandalism, theft or assault.”
The scientists speculate that smarter kids may be choosing to get high now — and to eschew tobacco — because of the social stigma now associated with demon nicotine.
In fact, at least if you are a Canadian teen, smoking is now pretty much a sure sign that you are loser. Chaiton said smoking has begun to correlate with mental health problems among teens, according to the Mail.
The scientists behind the study suggested that anti-marijuana programs could be more effective by focusing on the drug’s harmful effects instead of the fact that it’s illegal, because students don’t seem to care if it’s illegal.
Interestingly, the study found that over 90 percent of teen smokers also use marijuana. However, the overlap doesn’t work the other way. Only 25 percent of marijuana users also smoke.