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More Lung Injury Seen With Vaping Cannabis Versus Vaping, Smoking Nicotine

FRIDAY, March 12, 2021 -- Vaping cannabis appears to be more harmful than cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, according to a study published online March 3 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Carol J. Boyd, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan School of Nursing in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used data from Wave 4 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study (14,798 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years) to assess self-reported respiratory symptoms among U.S. adolescents who were current (past 30 days) users of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and/or cannabis. The five major respiratory symptoms assessed included wheezing or whistling in the chest, disturbed sleep due to wheezing, speech limited due to wheezing, sounding wheezy during or after exercise, and dry cough at night not associated with a cold or chest infection.

The researchers found that the odds of indicating "wheezing or whistling" in the chest were nearly two times higher among participants who had used cannabis in electronic nicotine delivery systems (adjusted odds ratio, 1.81). In the fully adjusted models, the investigators observed no significant associations between either e-cigarettes or cigarettes and all five respiratory symptoms.

"In short, it is all bad but if you also vape cannabis you have a greater number of unhealthy respiratory symptoms than if you just smoke cigarettes or marijuana, or vape e-cigarettes," Boyd said in a statement. "Without a doubt, cigarettes and e-cigarettes are unhealthy and not good for lungs. However, vaping marijuana appears even worse."

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