Marijuana worsens COPD symptoms in current cigarette smokers

May 21, 2007

ATS 2007, SAN FRANCISCO--Marijuana worsens breathing problems in current smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Tuesday, May 22.

The study found that among people 40 and older, smokers were two-and-a-half times as likely as nonsmokers to develop COPD, while smoking cigarettes and marijuana together boosted the odds of developing COPD to three-and-a-half times the risk of someone who did not smoke either cigarettes or marijuana--in other words, adding marijuana smoking to cigarette smoking increased the risk by one-third, says Wan Tan, M.D., of St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The odds of cigarette smokers having any respiratory symptoms was 2.36 times that of nonsmokers, while the odds of someone who smoked both cigarettes and marijuana having respiratory symptoms was 18 times that of someone who smoked neither--an eightfold jump in risk, Dr. Tan says.

"This study suggests an interaction between cigarettes and marijuana smoking. These findings have not been reported before, and they have a big public health implication," Dr. Tan says.

A majority of cigarette smokers in the study were also marijuana smokers. In both younger and older adults in the study, 30% smoked both cigarettes and marijuana. Among younger cigarette smokers, 76% also smoked marijuana, while 58% of older cigarette smokers also smoked marijuana.

The findings come from a study of 648 adults ages 18 and older who answered questions on smoking, including their cigarette and marijuana use, and respiratory symptoms. Study subjects ages 40 and older had lung function tests.

The Vancouver researchers decided to study both marijuana and cigarette smoking because both cigarette and marijuana smoking is prevalent in their area, says Dr. Tan. They found that 49% of participants ages 18 to 39 and 46% of those 40 and older had smoked marijuana at least once. Among 18-39 year-olds, 17% said they currently smoked marijuana, compared with 13% in the 40+ age group. In the younger group, 31% said they had ever smoked cigarettes, and 16% were current smokers. In the 40+ group, 52% were ever-smokers while 16% were current smokers.
-end-
"The Impact of Cigarette and Marijuana Smoking in Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Study in Vancouver, Canada" (Session C38; Abstract # 681; Poster Board # L42)

American Thoracic Society

Related Smoking Articles from Brightsurf:

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.

What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.

Want to quit smoking? Partner up
Kicking the habit works best in pairs. That's the main message of a study presented today at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Smoking and mortality in Asia
In this analysis of data from 20 studies conducted in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India with more than 1 million participants, deaths associated with smoking continued to increase among men in Asia grouped by the years in which they were born.

Predictors of successfully quitting smoking among smokers registered at the quit smoking clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health, Nur Izzati Mohammad et al. consider how cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors leading to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and cancer.

Restaurant and bar smoking bans do reduce smoking, especially among the highly educated
Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

How the UK smoking ban increased wellbeing
Married women with children reported the largest increase in well-being following the smoking bans in the UK in 2006 and 2007 but there was no comparable increase for married men with children.

Smoking study personalizes treatment
A simple blood test is allowing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.

A biophysical smoking gun
While much about Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease's progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons.

A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.

Read More: Smoking News and Smoking Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.