TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTH) - The use of tobacco has always been a big problem among high school student, but nowadays students across the country are turning to a much harder drug.
Over the past decade, research has shown a decline in the use of cigarettes.
This is due to negative advertisements and increased awareness of the health problems they can cause.
Unfortunately, that decline may be because of the increase of marijuana.
A new survey shows 23% of high school students have used marijuana in the past 30 days, compared to 18% for cigarettes.
"I think we've educated very well on the dangers of smoking. It's very widely known what those dangers are and people accept those," said Carrie Evans, Director of Prenatal Substance Use at Union Hospital. "Generally, there's a lot of controversy surrounding marijuana, however, so I think kids are getting mixed signals."
However, the health problems aren't mixed.
Smoking marijuana leads to cancer and can cause short term memory loss.
The increase is also due to the push to legalize the drug.
"They believe that it's natural, so it's healthier, it's safer," said Carrie, "but what they're not understanding maybe is that it's still a smoked product, and smoking anything and inhaling smoke into the lungs, no matter what it is is not a good idea."
And the biggest reason, it's still illegal.
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