Seriously, what the fuck.
Yesterday we came across an article by USA Today that was covering a new medical study about secondhand smoke and the headline was just absurd. How can secondhand smoke from smoking weed with a bong be 4 times worse than secondhand smoke from cigarettes?
Bullshit right? Let’s take a closer look at the study.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, measured fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in a real-world setting where a group of young adults socially smoked cannabis with a bong for two hours in an ordinary household living room. An aerosol monitor was placed where a nonsmoker might sit, recording PM2.5 levels before, during, and after eight sessions.
They found home cannabis bong smoking significantly increased PM2.5 from background levels by at least 100-fold. Within the first 15 minutes of smoking, PM2.5 concentrations surpassed air quality levels deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“There are negative attitudes to secondhand tobacco smoke but not really to secondhand cannabis smoke,” said lead study author Patton Nguyen, an industrial hygienist and a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Public Health. “What we want this study to do is really elucidate and help people understand that there are public health concerns.”
Fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, are tiny particles in the air that can travel deep into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs and impacting their function. Some studies suggest long-term exposure to PM2.5 may be linked to lung and heart diseases.
Study authors said PM2.5 concentrations from cannabis bong smoking were at least four times greater than concentrations from secondhand tobacco smoke from cigarettes or hookah found in previous studies.
Although health experts say the findings are noteworthy, more research is needed before conclusions can be made about smoking marijuana with a bong versus smoking tobacco as researchers did not control how much pot was smoked in the study.
“There’s very little research in this area,” said Dr. Silvia Martins, professor of epidemiology and director of the Substance Use Epidemiology Unit at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “This (study) is one of the first in a controlled environment.”
Researchers note PM2.5 concentrations also took a long time to return to pre-smoking levels. In one session, levels remained at more than 10 times the original concentration 12 hours after the group stopped smoking.
This suggests people entering a home hours after a bong session could still be affected by secondhand smoke.
“It can actually affect the health of children who are nearby or other people in pretty serious ways,” said corresponding author Katharine Hammond, a professor at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. “We need to wake up to that.”
By the way, windows and doors were closed throughout the study but he says future research will look at how ventilation plays a role in PM2.5 exposure from cannabis smoke.
Therefore, an easy solution would be to just let your windows or a door open when you smoke and the problem is solved, shouldn’t be too hard right?
Let us know in the comments what you think about this study.