However, reported The New York Post, in response to the measure, the Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Michelle Morse, emailed NYC health officials to warn them about a concerning increase in weed-smoking students.
Dr. Cathy Ward, a pediatrician with Big Apple Pediatrics said that many teens have shifted from vaping to smoking pot, in line with the availability of flavours. “A lot of them have shifted over to weed, just smoking pot,”she said. “And a lot of them were smoking e-cigarettes and hookah and Juul. I think its availability is been appealing to them. It’s got the different flavors and it’s being marketed to them. So I think that’s why it’s kind of all shifted.”
Ward said that doctors should take a proactive approach and have conversations about smoking during routine check-ups with kids. She added that one way to find out whether they smoke or not, is asking them about their friends’ consumption habits.
“You can just flat out, ask them, hey, do your friends smoke? I always ask what their friends smoked first because if their friends do it’s more likely that they are,” Ward said. “But if they’re like, oh no, I don’t hang around kids that do that. Then they’re much less likely to be smokers themselves,” she said.
Young brains are especially vulnerable to addiction
Ward added that kids are especially vulnerable to nicotine dependence. In line with her argument, a growing body of literature indicating that adolescent exposure to nicotine increases the risk of cigarette smoking in future.
Moreover, a recent rodent-based study published on ENeuro, measured the behavioural responses related to vaping between adolescent and adult brains. “The findings from our study will help uncover the mechanisms underlying the vulnerability of the adolescent brain to the rewarding effects of e-cigarette vapour as well as the long-term consequences of adolescent vapour exposure,” said lead study author Prof. Jibran Khokhar from the University of Guelph.
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