Pot Luck

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Do You Know What You're Getting?

Do You Know What You're Getting?

Strong words of warning for those who smoke pot: British researchers have found that smoking pure cannabis harms your lungs as much as tobacco does.

Smoking three cannabis joints a day causes the same damage to the lining of the airways as 20 cigarettes. In fact, the tar from a joint contains 50% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco, says the report, published by the British Lung Foundation.

"These statistics will come as a surprise to many people, especially those who choose to smoke cannabis rather than tobacco in the belief that it is 'safer' for them," says Mark Britton, MD, chairman of the British Lung Foundation.

The report surveys all current medical and scientific research into the direct effects of smoking marijuana -- both alone and with tobacco -- on the smoker's respiratory health.

Among the findings:

A survey earlier this year showed that 79% of children believe that cannabis was 'safe,' according to the British Lung Foundation's news release. Only 2% understood correctly that there are health risks associated with smoking pot.

SOURCES: News release, British Lung Foundation • Mark Britton, MD, chairman, British Lung Foundation. my.webmd.com/content/article/1685.53652

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