Report on Teen Cigarette Smoking & Marijuana Use | CASAColumbia

Report on Teen Cigarette Smoking and Marijuana Use

Report on Teen Cigarette Smoking and Marijuana Use

Published: September 2003

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Teen cigarette smoking and teen marijuana smoking are both rampant in the U.S., putting our nation’s youth at risk for addiction and other serious health consequences.


This report presents findings from CASAColumbia’s 2003 National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse VIII: Teens and Parents that pertain specifically to the link between teen cigarette smoking and marijuana use. The nationally representative telephone-based survey included interviews with 1,987 teens and 504 parents of teens, including 403 who were parents of the teens we interviewed.


This report found that a 50% reduction in the number of teens who smoke cigarettes could reduce teen marijuana use by 17% to 29%. According to the report, 60% of repeat marijuana users smoked cigarettes first, and teens who smoked cigarettes were 14 times as likely as their non-smoking counterparts to have tried marijuana, 6 times as likely to have reported being able to buy marijuana in an hour or less and 18 times as likely to have said that most of their friends smoked marijuana. 

Marijuana was pervasive in the life of teenage cigarette smokers. Even teens who didn’t report smoking were not immune to marijuana use: among teens who have tried marijuana, 1 in 3 never smoked cigarettes. Nevertheless, the findings indicate that reducing teen smoking could be a useful strategy for reducing teen marijuana use.


The report underscores—for parents, teachers, policymakers and anyone else concerned with the welfare of American children—the importance of intervening to end teen cigarette smoking.

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