Cannabis and electronic cigarette use in youths

Marijuana use has grown following legalization of use for medical and recreational purposes in many countries, particularly in youths. The prevalence of regular marijuana product use among American high school seniors now exceeds tobacco smoking. Electronic cigarettes are increasingly used to aerosolize cannabinoids, mostly delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which are inhaled into the lungs and systemically absorbed. They have frequently been marketed to adolescents, applying many of the same arguments used to promote nicotine-containing products, and their perceived safety led to earlier and more frequent use. They have other attractions to youths, since they are easy to use, easy to obtain, and easily concealed from others. However, the emergence of electronic cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) highlighted the risks associated with some of these products. Because many of cannabinoid-containing products are illegally produced and sold, there is little regulation or quality control. With the rise of cannabinoid vaping, pediatric pulmonologists will need to be familiar with the clinical effects of these products and their potential adverse effects.

Cannabis use is growing among adolescents, and as seen during the EVALI epidemic, vaping cannabinoid-containing solutions can cause significant lung injury, largely from toxic solvents and other additives. Pediatricians and respirologists need to be aware of the potential risks of these products in their patients.

Received: Mar 1, 2023
Accepted: Apr 2, 2023
Published: June 1, 2023

Table of Contents: Vol. 1, n. 2, June 2023

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