Second-hand marijuana smoke from bongs is more dangerous than cigarette smoke


Second-hand cannabis smoke from a bong is more dangerous than cigarettes, researchers say.

In a study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Network Open, authors from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health wrote that smoking a bong “is not safe.”

“Decades ago, many people thought [secondhand tobacco smoke (SHTS)] posed no risk to the health of non-smokers. Since then, scientific research has changed this perception and led to smoke-free environments. Erroneous beliefs about [secondhand cannabis smoke (SHCS)] safety encourage indoor cannabis use,” they said.

“Non-smokers are exposed to even higher concentrations of SHCS materials during ‘hot-boxing,’ the popular practice in which cannabis smokers produce large volumes of smoke in an enclosed environment. The results of this study suggest that SHCS in the home is not safe and that the public perception of the safety of SHCS needs to be addressed.

The group found that concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) generated in a home during social cannabis bong smoking to which a non-smoking resident might be exposed were significantly increased over background levels, and that PM2.5 decreased only gradually after smoking cessation. .

After 15 minutes of smoking, the average PM2.5 was more than double the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hazardous air quality threshold.

“Assuming exposure concentrations were at the average observed levels, a single session of home smoking without other exposure would generate an estimated average daily concentration that greatly exceeds the average in smoking homes, non-smoking homes, and U.S. EPA daily standard,” the researchers said.

In order to reach these conclusions, PM2.5 levels of members of the Environmental Health Sciences Division were measured before, during, and after eight sessions of social cannabis use in a household’s living room.

An aerosol monitor was placed where a non-smoker could sit to record levels.

Smoking cannabis at home significantly increased PM2.5 above background levels by at least 100-fold to 1000-fold during six of eight sessions. The other two sessions had high background levels and significantly increased PM2.5 by more than 20 times.

During the first 10 minutes of smoking, mean PM2.5 concentrations increased to 410 micrograms and 570 micrograms after 15 minutes. After half an hour this level was 1000 micrograms and it rose to 2500 micrograms in one sitting.

The concentration during smoking increased to an average of 1300 micrograms.

During two-hour smoking sessions, the five-minute average peak PM2.5 concentration was 1,700 micrograms and remained half of that 90 minutes after smoking ceased.

“Each half hour after quitting smoking, the mean concentration decreased to 78% of the maximum value, then to 60%, then to 40% and, after 110 minutes, to 31%,” the authors write. “In the [one] monitored session for 12 hours after quitting, PM2.5 remained elevated at 50 [micrograms], more than 10 times the background concentration. Smoking cannabis bong at home generated [four] PM2.5 concentrations times higher than smoking or hookah.

Limitations of the study include the fact that cannabis use was not directly observed.

“Do you remember the orange days of the forest fires a year and a half ago? When the sky was orange, the particle concentrations were 10 times higher than that,” she told the Bay Area’s KRON 4 on Wednesday.

PM2.5, the main component of wildfire smoke, has been shown to be linked to lung disease and cardiovascular problems.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marijuana is the most commonly used federal illegal drug in the United States.

The agency said 48.2 million people, or about 18% of Americans, used it at least once in 2019.


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