Marijuana more popular than cigarettes?

Posted on September 01 2015

It might seem a fairly bold claim, but a study by the University of Michigan - optimistically entitled 'Monitoring the Future' - has found results that might suggest the idea is not that far-fetched. Admittedly, the sample group for this study was limited to college students, but their findings suggests that smoking marijuana was more common amongst that demographic than cigarettes. 

Just under 6% of those asked reported smoking marijuana everyday, or at least twenty times in the previous thirty days. In contrast, just 5% of people said they were heavy smokers. This reflects a large shift in the perception of both marijuana and tobacco in recent years, with 19% of those asked identifying as heavy smokers (of tobacco) in 1999. The results suggest that teenagers and young adults have absorbed the public health warnings about the dangers of cigarettes, whereas the rise in the number of marijuana users perhaps reflects changing attitudes towards marijuana, and specifically to the medicinal values of the drug. 

"It's clear that for the past seven or eight years there has been an increase in marijuana use among the nation's college students,” said lead investigator on the study, Lloyd Johnston. “This largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors."



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