Marijuana and Lung Health
American Lung Association / https://www.lung.org
The American Lung Association is concerned about the health impacts of marijuana use, especially on lung health. We caution the public against smoking marijuana because of the risks it poses to the lungs.
Scientists are researching marijuana now, and the American Lung Association encourages continued research into the effects of marijuana use on lung health.
Smoke is harmful to lung health. Whether from burning wood, tobacco or marijuana, toxins and carcinogens are released from the combustion of materials. Smoke from marijuana combustion has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants and carcinogens as tobacco smoke.
Beyond just what’s in the smoke alone, marijuana is typically smoked differently than tobacco. Marijuana smokers tend to inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than cigarette smokers, which leads to a greater exposure per breath to tar.
Secondhand marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxins and carcinogens found in directly-inhaled marijuana smoke, in similar amounts if not more.5 While there is no data on the health consequences of breathing secondhand marijuana smoke, there is concern that it could cause harmful health effects, especially among vulnerable children in the home. Additional research on the health effects of secondhand marijuana smoke is needed.
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