Health Highlights: Sept. 1, 2015

Health Highlights: Sept. 1, 2015

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Pot Overtakes Cigarette Use Among U.S. College Students

Regular use of marijuana is now more common among U.S. college students than cigarette use, a new study says.

In 2014, nearly 6 percent of full-time students surveyed by researchers said they had used marijuana every day or at least 20 times in the previous 30 days, while 5 percent said they were heavy cigarette smokers, the Associated Press reported.

In 1999, 19 percent of college students said they were heavy cigarette smokers.

The University of Michigan study suggests that teens and young adults are heeding health warnings about cigarettes, and that a growing number believe marijuana poses few risks, according to lead investigator Lloyd Johnston.

“It’s clear that for the past seven or eight years there has been an increase in marijuana use among the nation’s college students,” he told the AP. “And this largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors.”

The study also found that fewer college students are abusing alcohol, with 5 percent of respondents saying they had engaged in extreme binge drinking — 15 or more drinks in a row — at least once in the previous two weeks.

Cocaine use among college students rose from 2.7 percent in 2013 to 4.4 percent in 2014. While the increase is statistically significant, Johnston said it is too soon to know if the drug is making a comeback on college campuses, the AP reported.

One highlight of the study is that half of the college students said they had not used any illegal drugs in the past year.

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