INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Teens who vape pot are at a greater risk of developing lung conditions compared to those who vape nicotine, smoke cigarettes or marijuana. This is according to a recent study from University of Michigan researchers.
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The results surprised investigators, as they say the findings “challenge conventional wisdom.”
“I thought that e-cigarettes (vaping nicotine) would be the nicotine product most strongly associated with worrisome respiratory symptoms,” said study co-author Carol Boyd, Ph.D. in a news release. “Our data challenges the assumption that smoking cigarettes or vaping nicotine is the most harmful to the lungs.”
Boyd and her team assessed nearly 15,000 pre-teens and teens between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. They found vaping marijuana was associated with an 81% increase in chest wheezing or whistling compared to just a 15% increased risk from cigarettes, followed by a 9% increase from nicotine e-cigarettes.
Teens also reported having other side effects as a result of vaping pot, including a 71% increase in disrupted sleep because of wheezing and a 96% increase in trouble speaking — also because of wheezing. In addition, teens who vaped marijuana had a 33% heightened risk of wheezing after exercising and a 26% increased risk of dry coughing at night irrespective of a chest infection — compared to their vaping/smoking counterparts.
“In short, it is all bad, but if you vape cannabis, you have a greater number of respiratory symptoms than if you just smoke cigarettes or marijuana or vape e-cigarettes,” Boyd added. “Without a doubt, cigarettes and e-cigarettes are unhealthy and not good for the lungs. However, vaping marijuana appears even worse.”