While previous research has examined the link between e-cigarette use and future marijuana use, authors of a new study in the April 2018 issue of Pediatrics, "Electronic Cigarettes and Future Marijuana Use: A Longitudinal Study" looked at the link between the two according to age group.
Youth undergo multiple stages of development, so researchers aimed to find out if the role of e-cigarette use in an individual's drug use patterns may differ by age. Researchers divided youths into two age groups: 12 to 14 years and 15 to 17 years. They looked at their baseline e-cigarette use and followed up one year later to assess marijuana use. They found that the younger a youth begins e-cigarette use, the more likely they are to initiate future marijuana use.
The researchers state that the results show the importance of having health providers and educators to talk with youth about the risks of e-cigarette use, including the propensity to progress to marijuana use after e-cigarette use. They also assert that policies to prevent youth use of e-cigarettes and reduce youth access to e-cigarettes may have the added benefit of reducing the likelihood of future marijuana use.
Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org: