Published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, a new study suggests a link between cannabis use and cigarette smoking. The study found that non-smokers and former smokers who use marijuana had a better chance of smoking cigarettes than those who didn’t.
The Study’s Findings
Researchers at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York published the study. They surveyed 34,639 people around the country in obtaining their results.
The research looks at the correlation between marijuana and cigarette smoking. It discovered three tendencies. First, those who smoke weed had a higher chance of smoke cigarettes than those who didn’t. Second, those who used to smoke, and now smoke weed, are likely to take up the habit again. And third, those who smoke cigarettes would, in all likelihood, keep smoking.
According to the study, smokers are over five times as likely as non-smokers to use marijuana daily.
Additionally, researchers identified two groups amongst cannabis users: those with a cannabis use disorder and those without. They defined having a ‘cannabis use disorder’ as when it’s challenging to cut back on marijuana, or when cannabis use results in behavioral problems.
According to the National Institute of Health, “Marijuana use disorder is common and often untreated.”
The study also found that the correlation between marijuana use and smoking applied even to those whom researchers did not identify as having a cannabis use disorder.
Why Are These Findings Significant?
According to study author Renee Goodwin, “Developing a better understanding of the relationship between marijuana use and cigarette use transitions is critical and timely as cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease, and use of cannabis is on the rise in the U.S.”
As cigarette smoking is a still a major health epidemic, understanding its relation to marijuana use is paramount. Additionally, more teenagers smoke weed than cigarettes today. Helping prevent their transition from marijuana to tobacco use is of critical importance to healthcare specialists.
In Health magazine, senior vice president of medical affairs at Plainview and Syosset Hospitals Dr. Alan Mensch explains, “cannabis use could negatively affect the success we’ve had in decreasing tobacco use and result in an increase in tobacco-related diseases and death.”
Does This Mean That All Smoking Is The Same?
Definitely not. As we know, marijuana has a host of amazing health benefits, from pain management to potentially treating cancer. However, this study confirms what already makes sense: Smoking can lead to more smoking.
But what and how you smoke matters. For instance, many are choosing to smoke joints instead of blunts because they want to avoid tobacco. Even famed weed smokers like Wiz Khalifa choose joints over blunts for health reasons.
While there are some downsides to joints (some research shows that blunts make you feel higher), they’re overall a better and healthier choice. Plus, joints are less likely to lead to cannabis dependency than blunts. Of course, you could always pack a bowl rather than roll a joint.
Final Hit: New Study Suggests Link Between Cannabis Use and Cigarette Smoking
The link between cannabis use and cigarette smoking is disappointing, albeit not totally surprising. While the ingest marijuana and cigarettes alike can become habitual, it’s important to remember that, though the process is similar, the contents differ. Both are plants, but one is filled with chemicals proven to cause cancer.