Cigarette Smoking Predictive of Marijuana Use in Teens


A new study finds a link between cigarette smoking and marijuana use among adolescents, but fails to find a consistent association between behavioral problems and marijuana use.

The Story

More than 1600 Dutch children were assessed at three different time periods in order to determine the association between cigarette smoking, behavioral problems, and marijuana use. The children were evaluated at ages 10-12, 12-15, and 15-18. The results showed that cigarette smoking at a young age was predictive of future marijuana use. Researchers found that behavioral problems were actually not a consistent predictor of marijuana use.

What Does This Mean?

This new study challenges the widespread notion that future marijuana use can be predicted by early behavioral problems. As the researchers noted, "Although externalizing behavior problems are important as a starting point for substance use trajectories, early onset smoking should be identified as an important marker of cannabis use risk."


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