Pot users less likely to think cigarettes are unhealthy: study

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By By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter, health day reporter

(Health Day)

TUESDAY, Aug. 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Could cannabis become a gateway drug for cigarettes?

Perhaps, say Columbia University researchers, who found that adults who use weed daily don’t perceive smoking a pack a day to be as harmful as those who don’t. of grass.

“In the context of recent findings that risk perception plays a key role in predicting substance use, and that risk perception associated with cannabis use has steadily declined with legalization, these findings were somewhat unsurprising,” said lead researcher Renee Goodwin. . She is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

In the study, Goodwin and his colleagues used data from more than 21,000 adults in the 2020 National Survey of Drug Use and Health.

Around 62% of adults who use weed daily perceive daily cigarette use as a “big” health risk, while 73% of those who have not used cannabis in the past year have the same perception.

Tobacco Control has done tremendous work in educating the public about the physical health risks associated with tobacco use, and cigarettes in particular, over the past few decades,” Goodwin said in a statement. university press.

Yet his previous research found that cigarette smoking is much more common among those who use cannabis.

“We wondered why this might be the case. Our results suggest that the decreased risk perception associated with daily cigarette smoking might be a contributing factor,” Goodwin said.

She also discussed recent Canadian research on the legalization of cannabis and packaging. In Canada, marijuana has been nationally legal since 2018.

“Data from Canada suggests that plain packaging is a measure that can maximize the safe and effective deployment of cannabis legalization that ensures and protects the health, safety and well-being of all members of our community,” Goodwin said.

“Enact legislation at the local and state level that reduces the appeal of cannabis products to young people compared to banning product packaging that mimics foods and candies that are traditionally marketed to children [e.g., Pop-Tarts, Oreos] can reduce potential unintended harm to the most vulnerable members of our community through accidental ingestion/poisoning, the number of which has exploded in recent years in the United States, with the intentional use of these products by children and adolescents,” said suggested Goodwin.

SOURCE: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, press release, August 3, 2022

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