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Pot Plus Tobacco Is Worse than Tobacco Alone

06/19/2009 - News

Pot Plus Tobacco Is Worse than Tobacco Alone

By: Robert W. Griffith, MD

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Society is trying to have tobacco banned, but to have marihuana legalized (though not the same members of society in each case, I imagine).

Society is trying to have tobacco banned, but to have marihuana legalized (though not the same members of society in each case, I imagine).

It seems that there's an increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among smokers who also take marijuana. This was the theme of a report at the American Thoracic Society meeting last week.

Over 540 patients referred for sleep lab studies who did not have diabetes were included in the study. They were classified according to their apnea-hypopnea index - a score for the severity of sleep apnea. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 5 years was nearly 3 times greater in people with obstructive sleep apnea (i.e. in the top ¾ of the apnea-hypopnea scorers). Obesity had about the same effect on the development of diabetes. (These associations were independent of smoking, age, gender, and race.)

This Canadian study of 650 COPD patients below 40 and 880 people over 40 almost half had smoked pot at one time or another. Current cigarette smoking was 16% in the younger and 13% in the older age group.

In the over-40s, smokers were 2½ times as likely to develop COPD as non-smokers, and smoking both cigarettes and pot increased the odds to 3½ times the risk. Someone who smoked both was 18 times as likely to have respiratory symptoms as someone who smoked neither.

This isn't too surprising. Examining the composition of tobacco and pot smoke shows many commonalities, as revealed by analysis. Not good news for the marijuana liberators.

Source
HealthandAge Blog

Created on: 06/01/2007
Reviewed on: 06/19/2009

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