Lighting up a cigarette could eventually lead to sparking up a joint for teens.
Tobacco as a gateway drug for marijuana?
Looks like it, according to a recent study from the Academy of Finland. This could have wide implications for L.A., the pot shop capital of America.
Kids who try cigarettes have a high risk of smoking weed by age 17, according to the research.
According to the study:
Compared to never-smokers, those who had started smoking by the age of 12 or earlier were 26 times more likely to start using drugs by age 17.
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About 15 percent of girls and 12 percent of boys in the study had tried weed by 17, and tobacco use ended up being "an especially significant predictor."
Other factors for teen pot use included being female, having a dad who drinks, and having friends who smoke and do drugs.
Researcher Tellervo Korhonen, who worked on the study:
The findings support the gateway hypothesis ..., which asserts that licit substances such as tobacco and alcohol are a stepping stone to harder, illicit drugs.