Cannabis use worsens breathing problems in current smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 international conference.
Cigarette smokers were two and a half times more likely than non smokers to contract pulmonary disease.
Cannabis smokers were three and a half times more likely to contract pulmonary disease than non smokers.
Cigarette smokers that also smoke cannabis increased the risk of contracting the pulmonary disease by a further one third.
(Source: Medical News Today, 29 May 2007)
The link between cannabis use and lung and breathing diseases has been well known for some time.
Cannabis use causes emphysema bronchitis, asthma, sinus and lung cancer.
A study in the USA of patients under 40 years of age with respiratory tract cancer noted that 70 per cent of them were daily cannabis users.
Cannabis is the most frequently used illicit drug in Australia so increased lung and respiratory diseases will become more prevalent unless steps are taken to reduce the number of cannabis users.
By directing cannabis users into detoxification and rehabilitation to get them drug free has the potential to save the users from future diseases.
Cannabis detoxification and rehabilitation early intervention programs have the potential to save huge medical costs to Australian health agencies and are therefore cost effective.