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News: Secondhand Marijuana Smoke Worse Than Cigarettes

There's more than one reason why your teen shouldn't be "hanging out with the wrong crowd." Secondhand marijuana smoke may damage your blood vessels even more than cigarette smoke.

According to a new study from the American Heart Association, arteries in rats that inhaled secondhand marijuana smoke for one minute carried blood less efficiently for at least 90 minutes.

Similar exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke can cause blood vessel impairment for 30 minutes.

In a news release, the AHA says, “While the effect is temporary for both cigarette and marijuana smoke, these temporary problems can turn into long-term problems if exposures occur often enough and may increase the chances of developing hardened and clogged arteries,” said Matthew Springer, Ph.D., study senior author and professor of medicine at the University of California.

Researchers say arteries of rats and humans are similar in how they respond to secondhand tobacco smoke.

Researchers also found the mere burning of the plant material appears to cause the impaired blood vessels, not chemicals like nicotine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

“There is widespread belief that, unlike tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is benign,” Springer said.

“We have been telling the public to avoid secondhand tobacco smoke for years. But we don’t tell them to avoid secondhand marijuana smoke, because until now we haven’t had evidence that it can be harmful.”

Talk to your teen about the physical effects of being in smokey environments and of smoking cigarettes and marijuana. Be sure to express your concern for their immediate health and their health down the road. Be clear about your expectations for their behavior. Remember, if you talk, they will listen!

Click HERE to read the original article from CBS Pittsburgh.

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