marijuana tobacco

Marijuana may lead non-smokers to cigarettes

Former smokers who use cannabis are also more likely to relapse, and current smokers who use cannabis are less likely to quit

March 27, 2018

Science Daily/Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

While cigarette smoking has long been on the decline, marijuana use is on the rise and, disproportionately, marijuana users also smoke cigarettes. A new study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York reports that cannabis use was associated with an increased initiation of cigarette smoking among non-cigarette smokers. They also found adults who smoke cigarettes and use cannabis are less likely to quit smoking cigarettes than those who do not use cannabis. Former smokers who use cannabis are also more likely to relapse to cigarette smoking. Results are published online in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

 

Until now, little was known about the association between cannabis use and smoking cessation or relapse over time in the general adult population.

 

The analyses were based on data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2001-2002 and 2004-2005, and responses from 34,639 individuals to questions about cannabis use and smoking status.

 

"Developing a better understanding of the relationship between marijuana use and cigarette use transitions is critical and timely as cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease, and use of cannabis is on the rise in the U.S.," said Renee Goodwin, PhD, in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and senior author.

 

The study suggests that marijuana use -- even in the absence of cannabis use disorder (characterized by problematic use of cannabis due to impairment in functioning or difficulty quitting or cutting down on use) -- is associated with increased odds of smoking onset, relapse, and persistence. As cannabis use is much more common than cannabis use disorder, its potential impact on cigarette use in the general community may be greater than estimates based on studies of cannabis use disorder alone, according to the researchers.

 

An earlier study by Goodwin and colleagues showed that the use of cannabis by cigarette smokers had increased dramatically over the past two decades to the point where smokers are more than 5 times as likely as nonsmokers to use marijuana daily.

 

Goodwin advises that additional attention to cannabis use in tobacco control efforts and in clinical settings aimed at reducing cigarette smoking and smoking related negative consequences may be warranted. She also points out that understanding the potential links between cannabis use and cigarette initiation in youth is needed given that recent data suggest cannabis use is more common among adolescents than cigarette use.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180327111032.htm

Why the marijuana and tobacco policy camps are on very different paths

In new paper, researchers examine the diverging trajectories of the two communities, and what each could learn from the other

June 8, 2017

Science Daily/University at Buffalo

New research looked at diverging trajectories of cannabis and tobacco policies in the US and attempts to explain some of the reasoning behind the different paths, while discussing possible implications.

 

The regulatory approaches to marijuana and tobacco in the United States are on decidedly different paths and, according to researchers from the U.S. and Australia, neither side appears interested in learning from the other.

 

"The two policy communities have shown very little interest in each other's policy debates," Wayne Hall and Lynn Kozlowski write in a new paper published in the journal Addiction.

 

Hall, the lead author, is a professor at the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland, Australia, and is an expert on marijuana and other drug use issues. Kozlowski is professor of community health and health behavior in the University at Buffalo's School of Public Health and Health Professions and an expert on tobacco use and control.

 

Their paper takes a look at the diverging trajectories of cannabis and tobacco policies in the United States and attempts to explain some of the reasoning behind the different paths, while discussing possible implications.

 

For tobacco control, the push is toward what Kozlowski calls "a kind of prohibition," mandating that only very low nicotine cigarettes are sold. The cannabis policy community, however, is advocating for quite the opposite -- legal recreational use of marijuana.

 

Why are the approaches so different?

 

"One group perceives the downside of banning products and accepts an inevitability of some recreational use," Kozlowski said, referring to marijuana advocates, "and the other does not accept recreational use and seeks a kind of prohibition."

 

The differences can also be explained by examining who's part of each group. The tobacco control community includes tobacco researchers, public health advocates, non-governmental organizations and government officials. The cannabis community is more diverse, Hall and Kozlowski point out, noting that it comprises civil liberties lawyers, civil rights advocates and supporters of reforming drug laws.

 

The cannabis community has another thing going for it: the fact that the legalization of recreational marijuana was preceded by legalizing the drug for medical use. In a way, that has softened the response to legalizing marijuana for recreational use, Hall and Kozlowski say.

 

"If you think the product is able to cure some ills, then that can justify use. The fun of it becomes a kind of bonus," Kozlowski said.

 

Despite the differences, the two policy communities could learn a few lessons from each other. "For cannabis, assume that 'big cannabis' -- large legal cannabis businesses -- will behave with the same limited sense of corporate responsibility as has 'big tobacco,'" Kozlowski said. "For tobacco, give up on moving toward a prohibition of traditional cigarettes -- an endgame -- and use public health tools to minimize the use of the most dangerous tobacco products, cigarettes."

 

The paper also points out that the challenge for public policy makers in regulating marijuana is in applying what has worked in alcohol and tobacco control. That includes such policies as taxes based on potency to mitigate heavy use and dependence, limiting availability through trading hours and the number of outlets that sell the product, and restricting promotional activities.

 

"Lessons can be drawn from cannabis policy that are relevant to tobacco, and vice versa. Neither a focus on 'endgames' nor on burgeoning, legal retail markets should be approached uncritically," Kozlowski said.

 

In the end, Kozlowski added, "The proper regulation of recreational drug products that have some adverse effects should be to restrict youth access, promote cessation of use in those who desire to quit, promote less-harmful modes of use by providing accurate and useful information to consumers."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170608123528.htm

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