Although the study’s lead author criticized Americans’ changing perceptions toward cannabis, numerous scientific studies reinforce the fact that cannabis smoke exposure poses far fewer risks to health than does tobacco.
Investigators at Emory University in Atlanta assessed marijuana smoke exposure and lung health in a large representative sample of US adults age 18 to 59. They concluded, “[The] ongoing use of marijuana is associated with increased respiratory symptoms of bronchitis without a significant functional abnormality in spirometry, and cumulative marijuana use under 20 joint-years is not associated significant effects on lung function.”
A forthcoming review to be published in journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society reiterates that the ingestion of cannabis smoke poses nominal pulmonary risks compared to those associated with tobacco smoke. It concludes, “In summary, the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared to the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco.”