Secondhand cannabis smoke is a concern

May 16, 2018

A study done by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the University of New York City, published in the journal Pediatrics, found there is an increased cannabis use among parents, with children at home, who smoke cigarettes and also among non-smokers - and notes that the combined use of cigarettes and weed may increase children's exposure to secondhand smoke.

 

Almost four times more common among cigarette smokers, cannabis use earns supporters among nonsmoking parents as well. "While great efforts have been made to reduce children's exposure to cigarette smoke, these efforts may be hampered by increased cannabis use among parents with children living at home," said Renee Goodwin, one of the authors of the study, to the website ScienceDaily.

 

Analysis of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2002 to 2015 shows that marijuana use in among parents increased by 2% in this period, while tobacco smoking dropped by 8%. Among tobacco users, the increase in cannabis use was 6%. Despite this, the overall percentage of parents using cigarettes and / or cannabis decreased from 30% to 24%, influenced by the decrease in tabagism. "The results of our study support public health gains in reducing passive smoking among children, but raise other public health concerns about child exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke and especially high risk exposure to combined exposures in certain subpopulations," Goodwin noted.

 

More information is needed to determine the influence of passive cannabis smoke - the location of consumption, whether indoors or outdoors, for example, can make a difference in the impact of smoke inhalation. In any case, the researcher points out, "educating parents about exposure to second-hand marijuana smoke should be integrated into public health education programs on secondhand smoke exposure."
 

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