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article imageStudy Says Pot Smoking Harms Lungs

By Bob Ewing     Jan 23, 2008 in Health
A study in the Wiley-Blackwell journal Respirology finds that the development of bullous lung disease occurs in marijuana smokers approximately 20 years earlier than tobacco smokers.
A study, “Bullous Lung Disease due to Marijuana," that was published in a Wiley-Blackwell journal, Respirology, has found that the development of bullous lung disease occurs in marijuana smokers approximately 20 years earlier than tobacco smokers.
Bullous lung disease is a condition that is often caused by exposure to toxic chemicals or long-term exposure to tobacco smoke; also know as bullae, this disease is a condition where air trapped in the lungs causes obstruction to breathing and eventual destruction of the lungs.
The press release claims that currently about 10 per cent of young adults and 1 per cent of the adult population smoke marijuana regularly. The researchers found that the mean age of marijuana-smoking patients with lung problems was 41, as opposed to the average age of 65 for tobacco-smoking patients.
The study also found that the bullous lung disease can easily go undetected as patients suffering from the disease may show normal chest X-rays and lung functions. High-resolution CT scans revealed severe asymmetrical, variably sized bullae in the patients studied. Chest X-rays and lung functions were normal in half of them.
Lead author Dr. Matthew Naughton says, “What is outstanding about this study is the relatively young ages of the lung disease patients, as well as the lack of abnormality on chest X-rays and lung functions in nearly half of the patients we tested.”
He added, “Marijuana is inhaled as extremely hot fumes to the peak inspiration and held for as long as possible before slow exhalation. This predisposes to greater damage to the lungs and makes marijuana smokers are more prone to bullous disease as compared to cigarette smokers.”
When you smoke marijuana, according to the study, you inhale more and hold your breath four times longer than when smoking cigarettes.
It is the breathing technique of marijuana smokers that serve to increase the concentration and pulmonary deposition of inhaled particulate matter, resulting in greater and more rapid lung destruction.
More about Marijuana smokers, Lung destruction, Cigarettes
 
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