Study: Medical Cannabis Laws Associated with Declines in Youth Cigarette Use

Irvine, CA: The enactment of medical cannabis access laws is associated with reduced rates of cigarette smoking among young people, according to data published in the journal Cannabis.

A team of researchers affiliated with the University of California at Irvine and with Pennsylvania State University assessed the relationship between medical cannabis legalization laws and cigarette initiation among adolescents. 

They concluded: “Our results indicate lower odds of initiating cigarettes, in every age group (8 years old or younger, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17 years old or older) in states with MMLs [medical marijuana laws] when compared to non-MML states. … Further research should evaluate how MMLs and recreational marijuana policies are associated with e-cigarette initiation and use.”

Data published recently in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research reported that the passage of adult-use marijuana laws is not associated with any uptick in youth tobacco use.

Full text of the study, “State medical marijuana laws and initiation of cigarettes among adolescents in the US, 1991-2015,” appears in Cannabis.