Contraband smokers more likely to use illicit drugs

Dec 18, 2014


University of Alberta economics professor calling on government to tighten enforcement on contraband tobacco after research shows link to illicit drugs

A University of Alberta economics professor has discovered a link between contraband cigarette use and illicit drug use among Canadian teens.

Professor Mesbah Sharaf, a health economics lecturer at the University of Alberta in Canada, recently published a joint study with the University of Waterloo titled “Association Between Contraband Tobacco and Illicit Drug Use Among High School Students in Canada” in The Journal of Primary Prevention.

The study shows that 31 per cent of adolescent smokers in Canada between grades 9 and 12 use contraband tobacco and indicates that teens who smoke contraband tobacco are more likely to use illicit drugs.

“The rate of illicit drug use among the contraband smokers is higher than that among teenagers who smoke non-contraband cigarettes–sometimes double or triple the rate,” says Sharaf.

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