2.7 Million Medical Marijuana Users in the US According to New Data

There are approximately 2.7 million adult medical marijuana users according to recent data from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). This estimate is based on a household survey of almost 68,000 people 12 year and older, covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Approximately 29.8 million adults use marijuana each year. Those who had used marijuana in the past year were asked, “Was any of your marijuana use in the past 12 months recommended by a doctor or other health care professional?” About 9.1% (2.7 million) said they had used some medical marijuana in the last year, while 5.1% (1.7 million) had only used medical marijuana.

The estimated number of medical marijuana users in the US is higher than a previously reported estimate of 1.1 million based on the number of registered medical marijuana patients (http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=005889).

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Cigarillo use increases estimates of teen smoking rates by half

New findings from the Monitoring the Future Study (links to PDF) show that when cigarillos (i.e., small cigars) are counted along with cigarettes, rates of tobacco smoking are higher by 67%. For example, rates of tobacco smoking among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders are 6.7% when only counting cigarettes, but after counting cigarillo use, the rate jumps to 11.2%. Cheap cigar and cigarillo use has increased over the past decade, while cigarette use has declined. Therefore, this finding is important to the degree teens are simply shifting to smoking different tobacco products. My suspicion is that much of the rise in cigarillo use is due to marijuana blunt smoking. However, there has been little published on the degree to which teens smoke cigarillos unmodified vs. modified for blunts, or the levels of nicotine exposure from blunt smoking. Both are areas of my active research.