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Study: High schoolers use e-cigarettes to vape marijuana

This may expose teens to higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.

FILE: Electronic cigarette flavours for sale at an electronic cigarette store in New York City. Picture: AFP.

NEW YORK - Nearly one in five high school students who said they have used electronic cigarettes to vaporise nicotine also used them to vaporise marijuana, according to a survey of nearly 4,000 Connecticut teens.

The study, published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics, is the first evidence that teens are using electronic cigarettes to vaporise cannabis, the researchers said.

The paper by Meghan Morean of Oberlin College in Ohio and colleagues raises concerns that the rising popularity of e-cigarettes may encourage teens to use the devices to vaporise cannabis, potentially exposing them to higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

"Forms of cannabis that can be vaporised, like hash oil, can be many times stronger than marijuana that is smoked," Morean said in an email.

A study released last month suggested US teens who try electronic cigarettes may be more than twice as likely to move on to smoking conventional cigarettes than those who have never tried the devices.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2 million middle and high school students tried e-cigarettes in 2014, triple the number of teen users in 2013.

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