Blunts and the Haze of Misperception That Could Affect Health

March 1, 2018

Smoking a blunt—a cigar that has been modified to incorporate marijuana—is an increasingly common practice. When smoked, a blunt exposes the smoker to combusted tobacco, which is known to cause great harm to health. The amount of exposure varies. Mixing tobacco into the marijuana exposes the user to tobacco smoke, but even just using the cigar wrapper and replacing the filling entirely with marijuana exposes the user to tobacco smoke when the wrapper burns.  

Discoveries in the data 

Using data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, Westat researchers have uncovered some interesting findings about the self-perception of blunt smokers. Westat researchers have found that 4.9% of “cigar smokers” (defined as people who smoke cigars or blunts) have never smoked cigars. By not identifying as cigar smokers, they are not being counted as having health risks associated with tobacco use.  

Westat’s Kristie Taylor, PhD, is leading the team studying blunt smokers in the PATH Study data: “While 4.9% might seem like a small difference,” Dr. Taylor said, “it amounts to 2.4 million people.”  

Furthermore, there are statistically significant differences by sex, age, and race/ethnicity. 

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