NH DHHS - Adolescent Cigarette Smoking and Marijuana Use

Department of Health and Human Services Highlights Concerns in New Data

Brief Adolescent Cigarette Smoking and Marijuana Use

Concord, NH – In a 2013 study, 73% of New Hampshire high school–aged youth

reported that they did not smoke cigarettes or use marijuana during the 30

days prior to the survey. However, 27% reported smoking and marijuana use,

or both. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS),

Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) has released a new data brief

entitled New Hampshire Adolescent Cigarette Smoking and Marijuana Use,

which highlights data from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).

Results from the analysis highlight the link between adolescent cigarette

smoking and initiation of marijuana use. The YRBS data show why reducing

youth cigarette smoking and marijuana use are extremely important for New


The brief is being highlighted for Kick Butts Day 2015, an annual

celebration for youth advocacy, leadership, and activism. On March 18th,

thousands of youth, teachers, and health advocates across the United States

and beyond stand out, speak up, and seize control against Big Tobacco.

While the majority of New Hampshire youth do not use tobacco, more than 1

in 4 high school youth reported cigarette use, marijuana use, or both. Even

more alarming, among high school–aged youth who reported current or

previous marijuana use, current cigarette smokers were 3.2 times more

likely to have first used marijuana before the age of 13 than were

non-cigarette smokers.

“It is concerning for New Hampshire that 70% of the high school–aged youth

surveyed who reported smoking cigarettes also reported using marijuana,”

said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “The effects of

smoking cigarettes and marijuana use can have long-term health consequences

for adolescents once they reach adulthood; earlier use of addictive

substances such as nicotine and marijuana can have a damaging effect on

adolescent brain development. Kick Butts Day is a great time for youth to

speak out about healthy choices they can make in their own lives—they can

choose not to use tobacco.”

Preventing young people from starting to smoke and/or using marijuana

begins with increasing their knowledge of the dangers of tobacco use,

changing their attitudes toward tobacco use, and increasing public support

for policies that reduce the likelihood that they will use tobacco. To get

involved in Kick Butts Day, visit www.kickbuttsday.org .

DHHS currently offers free tobacco treatment counseling and nicotine

replacement patches to adult residents who call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (

www.TryToStopNH.org ) and are eligible. Resources on drug misuse/abuse for

youth can be found at www.drugfreenh.org . For more information about the

DHHS Division of Public Health Services, the Tobacco Prevention and Control

Program, or the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, visit www.dhhs.nh.gov .

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