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Smoking cannabis doesn’t carry same risks as tobacco, UCLA study finds

Cameron Kiszla

May 22, 2023

"Cannabis Smoking: Different Risks than Tobacco, UCLA Study Reveals"

A new study from researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found some good news for cannabis smokers: one of the major risks associated with tobacco smoking isn’t connected with marijuana.

The study, “Impact of Marijuana Smoking on COPD Progression in a Cohort of Middle-Aged and Older Persons,” was published in the journal “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases” this month.

The researchers compared groups of people who currently, used to or have never smoked marijuana as part of the longitudinal research. Many of the subjects were studied for more than four years.

“Neither former nor current marijuana smoking of any lifetime amount was associated with evidence of COPD progression or its development,” the study said.

Cannabis advocates, including the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, celebrated the findings, noting that they “are consistent with those of prior studies concluding that cannabis inhalation, even long-term, is not positively associated with COPD, lung cancer, or irreversible airway damage.”

“They should be reassuring to cannabis consumers and to health professionals alike, and they should help to guide future policies with respect to the crafting of evidence-based public health messages and associated regulations,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said in a statement.

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