College Kids Smoked Pot More Regularly in 2014 than Cigarettes: Study

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By Tim Stelloh

College kids smoked marijuana more regularly in 2014 than cigarettes, a survey published Tuesday by researchers at the University of Michigan found.

The statistic was a first for the university, which has been conducting the nationwide survey of college students since 1980.

According to the study, 5.9 percent of the students surveyed smoked marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis, a rate higher than any year since 1980. Just five percent smoked cigarettes at the same pace, however, a staggering drop from 1999, when 19 percent of students said they regularly smoked cigarettes.

“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," Lloyd Johnston, the study’s principal investigator, said in a release. "And this largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors."

The researchers found that amphetamine use has nearly doubled since 2007, when 5.7 percent of students said they tried such drugs — an increase Johnston attributed “to students trying to improve their studies and test performance.”

Use of other drugs, such as synthetic marijuana, dropped from 7.4 percent in 2011 to just under 1 percent last year, while the use of narcotic drugs fell by nearly half between 2006 and 2014.

The researchers also found that the nationwide rise in heroin use had not migrated to college campuses.