Cannabis smoke contains many of the same carcinogens and chemicals found in tobacco smoke (Moir, Rickert et al. 2008, Wei, Alwis et al. 2016). Exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke can impair endothelial function, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (Wang, Derakhshandeh et al. 2016). However, US data show that the perceived health risks of marijuana use are, in fact, declining among adults (Compton, Han et al. 2016). We measured the concentrations of airborne fine particles (PM2.5) and cannabinoids at an indoor cannabis event where dabbing and vaporizing were the only cannabis emissions. We found average particle concentrations of 200-600 micrograms per m3 and peak concentrations over 1,600 micrograms per m3. Particle concentrations this high are seen in extreme air pollution events like wildfires (Landis, Edgerton et al. 2018, Li, Han et al. 2018) and severe industrial pollution (Nagar, Singh et al. 2017, Li, Han et al. 2018). Exposure at these concentrations can cause cardiovascular and respiratory disease (Zheng, Ding et al. 2015, Li, Fan et al. 2016). We show that dabbing and vaporizing cannabis can create levels of indoor air pollution that are hazardous to human health, in the absence of actual combustion.
Transmission of other bloodborne infections, particularly HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV), is also increasing among injection-drug users, albeit at a slower rate. The opioid epidemic has also been linked to increasing rates of syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections, microbial endocarditis, and other infections associated with unsafe drug injection.3
The social and economic costs of the HCV epidemic could be staggering. Most injection-drug users who become infected with HCV do so as young adults. Such people are at risk for chronic hepatitis C and could face years of hefty health care expenses; left untreated, they may transmit HCV to others. The cost of caring for people with HCV places further strain on an already fragile health care system. Furthermore, because young adults are entering their most productive years, HCV will affect the economic productivity of the country for years to come. (DACA Comment – What is not included in this concerning report is that much of the increase in STI’s is not only due to the misuse of injecting equipment, but unsafe sexual activity engaged in whilst on the illicit drug, be it opioids or ATS. The ‘band aid’ of trying ‘manage’ the ‘disease’ of drug use with mechanisms that do not lead to exit from drug use, only add a further burden of disease and a comorbid condition, which is yet another epidemiological short coming of Harm Reduction ONLY ideologies and practices!)
JACC: Journal of the American College of Cardiology - Key Summary
Patients aged ≤50 years presenting with their first myocardial infarction were retrospectively analyzed to evaluate the prevalence of cocaine and marijuana use and the impact on clinical outcomes. The prevalence of the use of cocaine and/or marijuana was 10.7%. Compared with patients without a history substance use, those using cocaine and/or marijuana had…a significantly higher rate of tobacco use. There was a significant association between the use of cocaine and/or marijuana and elevated cardiovascular and all-cause mortality risk.
Approximately 10% of patients presenting with myocardial infarction at age ≤50 years are cocaine and/or marijuana users, and this substance use is associated with an increased mortality risk. Young adults presenting with a first myocardial infarction should be screened for substance use to allow intervention in order to prevent future cardiac events
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, were invented in 2003 by Chinese inventor and pharmacist Hon Lik. Although many companies and advocates continue to bill them as a safer, smokeless alternative to traditional cigarettes, a U.S. Surgeon General report alarmingly found that 16% of high school students regularly use e-cigarettes. What’s worse, many young people who begin using nicotine through e-cigarettes will start to use traditional cigarettes later, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Smokers need help to quit, and those who can’t quit deserve a safer alternative. However, there’s a growing body of research indicating that e-cigarettes do more harm than good, and the companies selling them shamelessly advertise these products to youth in order to attract lifelong, valuable customers in ways that tobacco companies are prohibited from doing:
We support the Food and Drug Administration’s crackdown on e-cigarettes because with millions of teens using e-cigarettes every year, this is the beginning of an epidemic of nicotine addiction, and we invite you to learn more about these new nicotine delivery systems from the resources below.
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