If you’re blowing blunts and smoking cigarettes, you are at an increased risk of developing lung disease, a new study shows.
While cigarettes alone are a major source of such obstructive pulmonary diseases as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, when pot smoking is added to the mix, they act “synergistically” to promote the illnesses, researchers report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. One hypothesis is that it sensitizes the airways, making them more vulnerable to the ill-effects of tobacco.
“The bottom line is that ‘smoking marijuana and cigarettes — even small amounts — is very harmful for your lungs, increasing the risk of [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] by several-fold,’" lead researcher Dr. Wan C. Tan, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, told Reuters Health.
Tan's team surveyed a random sample of 878 Canadian adults age 40 and older. Just over half (53.1 percent) had ever smoked cigarettes, while 45.5 percent had ever used marijuana.
“The researchers found that compared with non-smokers, people who smoked cigarettes only were 50 percent more likely to have frequent respiratory symptoms and 2.7 times more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary,” Reuters reports.