A new study by researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine shows that a large number of Connecticut teenagers surveyed are using e-cigarettes to inhale marijuana.
The study found that a third of the nearly 4,000 participating teenagers had tried e-cigarettes. Of those young people, 18 percent said they used e-cigarettes to inhale hash oil, which is the resin extracted from marijuana plants.
"When you looked at the kids who said they had both used both e-cigarettes and had experimented with cannabis in the past, the number went up even higher to around 27 percent," Dr. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, of the Yale University School of Medicine, told NBC News.
Eric Davis, who manages an e-cigarette and vapor store on Chapel Street in New Haven, said the business does what it can to make sure its products are used legally.
"It’s tough," said Davis. "Any product can be misused."
Davis said his establishment, the White Buffalo, sells nicotine-only products, which are legal in the state of Connecticut. He said all his customers are checked to make sure they are at least 18 years old.
According to Yale researchers, a high level of misuse may be most alarming.
Researchers said scientists have yet to fully understand the way e-cigarette vaporized marijuana affects a teenager’s developing brain.
The Yale study contains some of the first findings that focus specifically on vaporizing marijuana with e-cigarettes. Researchers said additional studies may offer a better picture of what the true trends are.
At the White Buffalo, the focus remains on providing good customer service, despite new findings that some say casts the entire vapor industry in a bad light.
"It can be misused because there’s so many different technologies," said Davis.