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A new survey utilizing responses from more than 10,000 teens between the ages of 12 and 17, reveals evidence of a link between vaping and marijuana use.

The new data, culled from a study conducted by Children’s Mercy Hospital and The University of Missouri – Kansas City — reveals some alarming figures.

Lead study author Hongying Dai says the research wasn’t focused on proving a link between vaping and marijuana use, but believes the data collected should certainly spur further study.

“The brain is still developing during the teen years, nicotine exposure might lead to changes in the central nervous system that predispose teens to dependence on other drugs of abuse. Experimenting with e-cigarettes might also increase youth’s curiosity about marijuana, reduce perceived harm of marijuana use, and increase the social access to marijuana from peers and friends,” Dai said.

A more detailed analysis of the numbers – shows 27% of teens who’d used e-cigarettes also started smoking pot in that span. Only 8% of non-vapers jumped to marijuana in the same timeframe.

Another cause for concern is that users who’d started with e-cigarettes appeared to be more prone to “heavy” marijuana use a year later. There’s a demographic breakdown of this in the full study, examining the data by sex, ages group, grade level, and so on.

While the results of the study are not entirely surprising, we can be sure that this data will be cited repeatedly as the FDA continues its push to crack down on underage vaping. It will also be interesting to see what researchers like Dr. Farsalinos and others make of this study when they get down to really examining the data and studying the results and methodology.