UK Study: High-Achieving Teens More Likely to Smoke Cannabis

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A new study from the United Kingdom has revealed academically high-achieving students are two times as likely to smoke marijuana during their teen years, according to a Feb. 23, 2017, article in The Independent.

The nine-year study of 6,059 school children was conducted by researchers at University College London. The study was published in the medical journal BMJ Open.

Researchers found bright students were not likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes but likely to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol during their teens.

In their late teens, which the study identified as ages 18-20, smart students were likely to try marijuana out of curiosity and a desire to fit-in socially. The same group was also more likely to drink alcohol and continue to do so.

“High childhood academic [performance] at age 11 is associated with a reduced risk of cigarette smoking but an increased risk of drinking alcohol regularly and cannabis use,” researchers said. “These associations persist into early adulthood, providing evidence against the hypothesis that high academic ability is associated with temporary ‘experimentation’ with substance use.”

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