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Dental Hygiene Newswire

News and research for Ontario dental hygienists

Cannabis vaping among youth and young adults: A scoping review

Cannabis vaping is increasingly common among youth and young adults and more prevalent in settings where recreational use for adults has been legalized. According to a meta-analysis published in JAMA Pediatrics, from 2013 to 2020, among adolescents in the USA and Canada, lifetime, past-12 month, and 30-day prevalence of cannabis vaping increased by two- to seven-fold.

This scoping review summarizes the results from 202 original investigations on this topic published between 2007 and 2021, which include information relevant to the epidemiology, health effects, etiology, marketing, and regulation of cannabis vaping and apply to young people less than 30 years old. The research documents several negative health effects of cannabis vaping for young people, along with risk factors and reasons for the same.


Purpose of Review This review was to describe the state-of-the-literature on research specific to cannabis vaping among youth and young adults.

Recent Findings Out of 1801 records identified, a total of 202 articles met the eligibility criteria for inclusion in this review. Most of this literature (46.0% of studies) was specific to the health effects of cannabis vaping, particularly EVALI (e-cigarette and vaping associated lung injury). Other research areas identified in the review included the etiology (24.3%) and epidemiology (24.8%) of cannabis vaping, in addition to articles on regulation (8.4%) and marketing (5.5%) of the same.

Conclusions The research to date clearly shows cannabis vaping among young people is consistently higher in settings where use is legal for those over the age of 21 years. Therefore, additional methods for preventive interventions will be necessary in the future, and the development of these must be informed by etiologic research. As evidenced by EVALI, the large majority of the negative impact of cannabis vaping on health has been disproportionately experienced by young people. They will continue to require support from the scientific community in the future to mitigate any additional damage to their well-being collectively that lies ahead.

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