Kids peppered with pot ads

March 29, 2017

(HealthDay)—There has been an alarming increase in young Americans' exposure to marijuana ads as more states legalize the drug, a new study contends.

Recreational and/or medicinal use of is now legal in more than half of U.S. states, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said.

"Advertising can be powerful," said study first author Melissa Krauss, a research statistician in the department of psychiatry. "That's why we're concerned that so many young adults are seeing ads for marijuana. It's also likely that younger, more vulnerable kids are seeing ads, too."

For the study, Krauss' team surveyed 742 younger people, aged 18 to 34, all of whom reported recent marijuana use. The researchers found that 54 percent had seen or sought out marijuana ads in the previous month. The ads were either online or in more traditional forms such as billboards or print media.

Marijuana advertising laws vary from state to state, but most of the survey respondents who encountered pot ads saw them on websites or social media. Even in states where marijuana ads are restricted, online ads can't be controlled, the researchers said.

And while ads for marijuana are prohibited on Facebook, "you can go on Facebook and discover pretty quickly that ads and information about dispensaries are there," Krauss said.

Even though the survey only included people who said they used marijuana, it's concerning that so many had seen ads for the , even in places where such ads are supposed to be prohibited, she added.

The study found that people who seek out marijuana ads tended to be users of medicinal marijuana products, were more likely to use marijuana products such as edibles and concentrates, and were more likely to be heavy users.

Those least likely to see marijuana ads used the drug recreationally, lived in states where the drug is illegal, and were more likely to smoke marijuana rather than use edibles or concentrates.

"As more legalize marijuana, we should be vigilant about ads that promote the drug," Krauss said in a university news release.

The study was published March 29 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

About 30 percent of people who use marijuana have some level of marijuana use disorder, which can be associated with addiction, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Explore further: Pot-laced goodies can poison a child

More information: SOURCE: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, news release, March 28, 2017

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about marijuana.

Related Stories

Pot-laced goodies can poison a child

March 17, 2017
(HealthDay)—Cupcakes, brownies and candies containing marijuana can look irresistible to kids—but eating even one treat might poison them, a leading group of U.S. pediatricians warns.

No uptick in marijuana use by adolescents after states pass medical marijuana laws

October 19, 2016
Adults over the age of 25 increased their use of marijuana after their home states made changes to medical marijuana laws, according to new research by scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. ...

Researchers fret as info lags on pot effects on older adults

December 6, 2016
Surveys show a small but growing number of older adults are using marijuana—a trend that worries researchers who say not enough information exists about how pot affects older users.

Assembly approves medical marijuana dispensaries

June 4, 2013
(AP)—Nevada lawmakers want to give medical marijuana users a legal way to obtain the drug 13 years after voters legalized medicinal pot in the state constitution.

Government won't reclassify marijuana, allows more research

August 11, 2016
The Obama administration isn't going to reclassify marijuana and remove it from the list of the most dangerous drugs.

Recommended for you

Women sitting ducks for frailty

June 25, 2018
Women who spend more time sitting down as they age are at higher risk of becoming frail, a University of Queensland study has found.

Accurate measurements of sodium intake confirm relationship with mortality

June 21, 2018
Eating foods high in salt is known to contribute to high blood pressure, but does that linear relationship extend to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death? Recent cohort studies have contested that relationship, ...

Fans of yoga therapy have yet to win over doctors

June 21, 2018
Yoga practitioners often tout the unique health benefits of the ancient discipline—from relieving stress and pain to improving vascular health—but most doctors remain sceptical in the absence of hard proof.

Fruit and vegetables linked to changes in skin colour, new research finds

June 21, 2018
Skin colour in young Caucasian men is strongly linked to high levels of fruit and vegetable consumption, new research by Curtin University has found.

What a pain: The iPad neck plagues women more

June 20, 2018
Is your iPad being a literal pain in the neck?

Medicaid work requirements and health savings accounts may impact people's coverage

June 20, 2018
Current experimental approaches in Medicaid programs—including requirements to pay premiums, contribute to health savings accounts, or to work—may lead to unintended consequences for patient coverage and access, such ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.