According to a recent AMA study, people are beginning to perceive marijuana smoking or being around marijuana smoke as being less harmful than smoking or being around tobacco smoke. Researchers asked 5,035 American adults three times — in 2021, 2020 and 2017 — about their opinions of the hazards associated with both substances. They discovered a significant change over time, with more participants saying they thought marijuana smoke was typically safer than tobacco smoke.
Published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” (JAMA) Substance Use and Addiction, the survey asked respondents whether they believed that smoking one joint of marijuana daily was significantly less safe than smoking one cigarette daily, significantly less safe, about the same amount of safety or much safer. The study authors noted that people believed using marijuana regularly to be safer than using tobacco. Moreover, this perception became progressively more favorable toward marijuana as the years went by.
For instance, 33.7% of respondents in 2017 indicated that smoking cannabis once a day was either substantially or slightly riskier than smoking a cigarette, compared to 36.6% who believed cannabis was safer. About 30% claimed that they posed similar hazards. Only 25.5% of people still held this belief in 2021, whereas 44.3% of people, a 21% rise from 2017, thought cannabis was less risky than cigarettes.
Similar patterns were seen when respondents were questioned about the relative risks of being exposed to cigarette and cannabis smoke. In 2017, 35.1% of respondents believed that exposure to cigarette smoke was more hazardous than exposure to secondhand marijuana smoking, while 29.2% disagreed. Another 35.6 percent disagreed, claiming that neither was less risky nor safer. In 2021, four years later, 25.5% of respondents claimed that marijuana smoke in close proximity to others was worse than cigarette smoke, while 40.1% disagreed.
Participants were also asked to rank the relative safety of tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke for various demographics. Among adults, 12.6% thought cannabis was mostly or entirely safe, compared to 2.4% who thought the same about tobacco. Compared to cigarettes, which had a response of 1.8%, cannabis had a response of 4.8% that it was entirely or somewhat safe for youngsters. And compared to cigarettes, cannabis smoke was deemed to be usually safe for pregnant women by 5.3% of respondents, versus 1.4% for cigarettes.
The authors noted that the legalization of cannabis in the participant’s state of residence was not a standalone predictor of change over time. This shows that the rising view of marijuana safety may be a more widespread, nationwide trend rather than a trend limited to places where cannabis use is allowed.
This finding appears to partially conflict with the authors’ prediction that if more states legalize cannabis, risk perception may decline even further, which may be related to increased cannabis intake and exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke.
The authors express concern about the shift in public perceptions regarding marijuana’s relative safety and suggest that public health initiatives may be required to inform the public about potential risks and stop the rising social acceptance of marijuana smoke exposure.
This new study’s release coincides with a recent Gallup poll revealing that almost one-half of Americans have tried marijuana and that more individuals currently smoke marijuana than tobacco cigarettes. The majority also expresses no particular concern about the consequences of adult marijuana use.
Given that many people use marijuana for medicinal purposes, one way to reduce any possible harms from smoking the substance is by switching to any FDA-approved cannabis medicines that manufacturers such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) offer to address chronic pain and other symptoms.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
To receive instant SMS alerts, text CANNABIS to 21000 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)
For more information please visit https://www.CNW420.com
Do you have questions or are you interested in working with CNW420? Ask our Editor
CNW420 is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.