Young people who use e-cigarettes or cannabis have more sex than others. But they also have worse grades and are more likely to struggle at school. This is according to a Canadian research team.
The Canadian research team conducted a cross-sectional study comparing different risky behaviours within an age group. 30 000 young people in the US were included in the study. The conclusion was that young people who struggle at school are more likely than others to engage in risky behaviours in their free time. They smoke more often, vape more often, drink alcohol more often and enjoy cannabis.
"This is a sign that parents should pay attention to. At the very least, we can see that this risky behaviour is a signal that the young person has problems at school as well," says Dr Nicholas Chadiwho led the study, to the Montreal Gazette newspaper.
More sexual relations for road users
However, the study cannot show a so-called causal link between e-cigarettes, cannabis and poor school performance. The study only shows that young people who vape or use cannabis also tend to have lower grades. However, the researchers do link this behaviour directly to young people's sexual lives.
"Young people who use cannabis or e-cigarettes are more likely to have up to three different sexual relationships in a period of three months," says Dr Nicholas Chadi to the Montreal Gazette. "Not everyone uses e-cigarettes, but it is more common"
Young cannabis users are more likely to have sex without a condom, while those who only use nicotine are more likely to have drunken sex, the researchers found.
Risk behaviour, smoking and e-cigarettes
Researchers have previously looked at how general risk behaviour affects young people who choose to use nicotine. As Vejpkollen previously reported social affiliation, home situation and psychological well-being are important factors in the development of risk behaviour. A risk behaviour together with several common background factors is likely to be the same whether a young person starts smoking or vaping.
"We can't really say what precedes the other, but the results show that young people who take risks in one area, often do so in several other areas as well", says Mr S. Dr Nicholas Chadi.
The Canadian study was published in the journal Substance Use and Abuse in February 2020.