Sunday, March 12, 2006

New Scientist Cannabis smoking 'more harmful' than tobacco - Breaking News

New Scientist Cannabis smoking 'more harmful' than tobacco - Breaking News:

"Smoking pure marijuana is at least as harmful to lungs as smoking tobacco, a report from the British Lung Foundation concludes. And in some key ways, it may be more dangerous.

For example, the BLF's review of previous research highlights that just three marijuana joints a day causes the same damage to the lung's airways as 20 cigarettes, mainly because of the way joints are smoked.

Individually, cannabis and tobacco produce the same constituents and quantities of chemicals known to be toxic to respiratory tissue, other than nicotine, the report says. But when cannabis and tobacco are smoked together, the health effects are worse.

'These statistics will come as a surprise to many people, especially those who choose to smoke cannabis rather than tobacco in the belief it is safer for them,' says Mark Britton, chairman of the BLF. A UK survey conducted earlier in 2002 found that 79 per cent of children believed cannabis to be 'safe'.
Deep breath

A key finding highlighted by the review of 90 published papers is that the amount of smoke taken into the lungs is two thirds larger if cannabis is being smoked. The smoke is also taken one third deeper into the lungs - and that smoke is held an average of four times longer before being exhaled.

'You inhale deeper and hold your breath with the smoke for longer before exhaling. This results in more poisonous carbon monoxide and tar entering into the lungs,' says Helena Shovelton, BLF's chief executive."

[...]

Lyndon Pugh, editor of pro-cannabis magazine CC Newz, is not impressed by the report: "These allegations have been made before countless times. Lot of things are dangerous, like driving."

Use of a vaporizer could avoid the bad effects of smoking marijuana

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