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Swiss Study: Teens who smoke pot but not tobacco function well

By Nature Boy, Nov 6, 2007 | | |
  1. Nature Boy
    [h3]Teens who smoke pot but not tobacco function well[/h3]
    Updated Mon. Nov. 5 2007 5:44 PM ET
    CTV.ca News Staff
    Teens who smoke pot but not cigarettes appear to be more likely to get good grades, play sports and live with both parents than those who also use tobacco, finds a surprising new study from Switzerland.

    What's more, the study found that teens who smoke pot were more likely to have a good relationship with their friends than teens who smoked neither tobacco nor pot, found the study published in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

    To conduct the study Dr. J. C. Suris and colleagues at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, analyzed data from a 2002 national survey of almost 5,300 Swiss students aged 16 to 20 years. Of the group, 455 smoked marijuana exclusively, 1,703 smoked marijuana and tobacco, and 3,105 abstained from both substances.

    The survey also found that, compared with students who used both substances, students who smoked marijuana only were more likely:

    • to be male (71.6 per cent vs. 59.7 per cent),
    • to play sports (85.5 per cent vs. 66.7 per cent)
    • to live with both parents (78.2 vs. 68.3)
    • to have good grades (77.5 vs. 66.6).
    As well, the researchers noted that students who smoked marijuana only were less likely:

    • to have been drunk in the past 30 days (40.5 per cent vs. 55 per cent)
    • to have started using cannabis before the age of 15 years (25.9 per cent vs. 37.5 per cent)
    • to have smoked marijuana more than once or twice during the previous 30 days (44 per cent vs. 66 per cent)
    • to use other illegal drugs (8.4 per cent vs. 17.9 per cent).
    Those who smoked marijuana only used it less often than those who smokes both cigarettes and pot. About half of the tobacco-and-marijuana group had used pot 10 times or more in the previous month, compared to about half in the marijuana-only group who had used the drug only once or twice in the same time period.

    Compared to teens who abstain from smoking pot or cigarettes, pot-only smokers are more likely to skip class, but still have the same level of good grades. And although they were more likely to report having a relationship with their parents, they are not more likely to be depressed than abstainers.
    The study did not explain the reasons behind any of its findings.

    The authors note that although teens who smoke both marijuana and tobacco seem to have more psychosocial problems, those who smoke marijuana only should be monitored closely too. They note as well that marijuana use has increased in recent years among teens in Switzerland and other European countries.


    "The situation of those adolescents who use cannabis but who declare not using tobacco should not be trivialized," the authors conclude.

Comments

  1. Sitbcknchill
    I love statistics manipulation. Especially for a study that shows basically nothing.
  2. beentheredonethatagain
    Nik was only a pot smoker, never cigarettes and he doesnt fall into those stats when he was in school.

    How the fudge would him smoking pot or cigarettes or even crack have anything to do with his parents divorce or separation? I lived with one parent, and didnt smoke cigs. they were divorced.
  3. Lehendakari
    SWIM didn't start smoking regularly till he was 21 but now realyzes it could have help SWIM those years. SWIM was very angry all the time when he was a teen and made many stupid decisions because of this absurd rage. Cannabis would have helped a lot dealing with those situations he thinks.
  4. Senor Gribson
    i see our side of the drug war is starting to use pointless and misleading statistics too
  5. candy_kid
    These statistics might not say anything directly, but doesn't this kinda show that there are likely factors external to marijuana that influence grades and behaviour? Obviously this is something members of this forum would take for granted, but many members of the casual public don't realize this. One possibility for example could be that people who are more likely to take risks at a young age and try smoking might also be (obviously not in all cases) of a mental set less likely to succeed at school, and to abuse drugs rather than use them? Maybe nicotine itself if used during mental development wires the reward centre up in a way that changes behaviour in this way-- its impossible to say anything for sure like others have pointed out, but it does put more doubt to the claim that marijuana itself negatively impacts performance. I also liked this article in part because swim just knows too many people who fit the steriotype it outlines

    anyway, just throwing a defensive out against everyone who discounted it straight up :)
  6. Nature Boy
    Indeed, a timely reminder for us all. Still though, if you apply the cannabis pragmatist's argument (the kind of argument groups like http://www.cannaprag.net/ present), studies like this demonstrate how both sides use fallacious statements in order to sway opinion. Therefore, the best solution is to find some factual-based middle ground that deals with what is the correct solution not just the moral retreat routine.
  7. candy_kid
    I just found some interesting info that kinda relates to all this
    to quote part of the article :
    [SIZE=-1]"Acetylcholine enhancement in the nucleus accumbens prevents addictive behaviors of cocaine and morphine"[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]"These studies indicated that ACh and dopamine acted convergently but oppositely on the NAc circuit and that cholinergic cell ablation enhanced long-lasting behavioral changes of cocaine addiction."[/SIZE]
    http://www.cocaine.org/acetylcholine/index.html

    if acetylcholine has an opposite effect to dopamine on the NAc circuit, which is part of the reward system (one of the most active while on cocaine for example) and having more prevents addictive behaviour; It would make sense that not having enough acetylcholine would increase susceptibility to addictive tendencies? Now consider that nicotine in tobacco impairs acetylcholine performance; wouldn't this increase susceptible to addiction beyond simply tobacco? People with addictive tendencies tend to need to reward themselves more often right, which might involve amusing themselves during class, or finding more immediately pleasing stimulus rather than studying - maybe even smoking weed every day instead of just on weekends? Especially since this is occurring during the development of the brain, the reward circuits would never have fully had a chance to develop and suddenly they're being messed around with-

    anyway, just thought a little (almost)evidence in support of the article might make things friendlier and possibly explain something about why nicotine could actually be the drug responsible for poor performance in school and more frequent use of drugs compared to non-smokers.
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