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Cannabis Use Increases Among Parents With Children at Home

Cannabis Use Increases Among Parents With Children at Home

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  • Parents with children at home have an increased use of cannabis and a decreased use of cigarette smoking in 2015 compared to 2002
  • The use of cannabis is nearly 4 times more common among cigarette smokers than non-smokers
  • The results indicate that cannabis use could negatively affect the success had in decreasing tobacco use.

A latest study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and City University of New York studying cannabis use among parents with children at home have found thatthe use of the drug has increased among smoking and non-smoking parents. Parents who smoked had increased their cannabis use nearly four times compared with non-smokers.

The findings will be published online in the June issue of Pediatrics.


Cannabis Use Increases Among Parents With Children at Home

"While great strides have been made to reduce children's exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke, those efforts may be undermined by increasing use of cannabis among parents with children living at home," said Renee Goodwin, PhD, in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and corresponding author.
Cannabis or marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.Young adults are the most common users of the drug totaling more than 11 million in number (ages 18 to 25) in 2015.

Study - Cannabis Use

There is little knowledge about current trends in the use of cannabis like
  • The use of the drug among parents with children in the home
  • The prevalence and changes in exposure to both tobacco and cannabis
  • The populations that might be at greatest risk
  • Daily use among parents.
To study more on this topic, researchers analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health which is an annual, nationally representative, cross-sectional study conducted in the United States.

The study was based on the current trends in cannabis use among parents who identified as cigarette smokers and non-smokers with children in the home from 2002 to 2015. The study analyzed associations between cigarette smoking and any past-month and daily past-month cannabis use among the parents using logistic regression models.

Main results of the study

  • Past-month cannabis use increased from 5 percent in 2002 to 7 percent in 2015 among parents with children at home - this contrasted with cigarette smoking which declined from 28 percent to 20 percent.
  • Use of cannabis increased from 11 percent in 2002 to over 17 percent in 2015 among cigarette-smoking parents and to a lesser margin from over 2 percent in 2002 to 4 percent in 2015 among non-cigarette-smoking parents.
  • Calculated as a net increase in 2015, cannabis use was nearly 4 times more common among cigarette smokers than non-smokers (17% vs. 4.0%).
  • Daily use of cannabis also increased from 5 percent among cigarette smokers versus 1 percent among non-smokers.
  • The overall percentage of parents who used cigarettes along with cannabis or without it decreased from 30 percent in 2002 to 24 percent in 2015.

Other findings of the study

  • Cannabis use was more prevalent among men (10 percent) who also smoked compared to women (6 percent).
  • Younger parents with children in the home (11 percent) used cannabis more compared with parents 50 and older (4 percent).

These results indicate that while the use of either cigarettes or cannabis in homes with children has declined, there is an increase in the percent of homes using both. The progress made in curbing exposure to second hand smoke is being offset by the increase in cannabis use.

Moreover, there remains a lack of information on whether the parents smoke in the house or in the proximity of children. Since smoking cannabis outdoors and in a range of public areas is illegal in most places, it could be possible that cannabis use is even more likely to occur in the home than cigarette smoking.

Goodwin observed that while the results support the public health gains in reducing overall child second hand tobacco smoke, they have raised other public health concerns about child exposure to second hand cannabis smoke. There is an especially high risk for combined exposures in certain subpopulations.

"Efforts to decrease second-hand smoke exposure via cigarette smoking cessation may be complicated by increases in cannabis use," said Goodwin. "Educating parents about second-hand cannabis smoke exposure should be integrated into public health education programs on second-hand smoke exposure."


Cannabis is also known as marijuana, weed, pot, dope or grass and is the most widely used illegal drug. It is obtained from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indicaplant. People smoke marijuana as hand-rolled cigarettes or joints, in small pipes or bongs (water pipes) or as emptied cigars (blunts) refilled with marijuana.

The cannabis plant contains the mind-altering or psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When consumed, THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream from where it is carried to the brain and other organs throughout the body. THC acts on specific brain cell receptors which also react to natural chemicals that play a role in normal brain development and function. THC effects are manifested as a state of relaxation and to a lesser extent, euphoria.

  1. What is marijuana? - (https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana)
  2. Renee D. Goodwin, Keely Cheslack-Postava, Samantha Santoscoy, Nina Bakoyiannis, Deborah S. Hasin, Bradley N. Collins, Stephen J. Lepore, Melanie M. Wall "Trends in Cannabis and Cigarette Use Among Parents With Children at Home: 2002 to 2015" American Academy of Pediatrics (2018) doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-3506

Source: Medindia

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