Children exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke may experience viral respiratory infections

Every year, millions of kids are exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke. Kids who play outdoors and those who gather in groups in backyards and parks are prime targets for second-hand smoke. This is especially true for those who hang out with the older kids who smoke.

In the past few years, marijuana legalization has been sweeping across the US. The drug has been shown to have numerous medicinal benefits, including alleviating pain, increasing appetite, and even improving the sleep of those with chronic pain. However, the legality of marijuana is not without its problems, as recent studies have shown that second-hand smoke exposure can lead to a host of health problems.

A small study from the University of California Davis found that second-hand marijuana smoke could lead to viral infections in children. The study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics , found that two of the three children in the study had a worsening of bronchiolitis, erythema infectiosum and conjunctivitis.



According to a research published in the journal Pediatric Research, children whose parents smoke or vape marijuana on a daily basis are more likely to have viral respiratory illnesses like the common cold than children whose parents do not.

Wake Forest School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado conducted a study of 1,491 parents and caregivers in Colorado, a US state where recreational and medical marijuana usage is allowed. Researchers discovered that children whose parents smoked or vaped marijuana on a regular basis had more viral respiratory illnesses in the year leading up to the study than children whose parents did not consume tobacco or marijuana. In comparison to children whose parents did not smoke, parents who smoked or vaped marijuana reported that their children had not experienced other conditions commonly associated with second-hand tobacco smoke exposure, such as ear infections and asthma attacks, nor had they visited a hospital emergency department more frequently in the previous year.

The harmful effects of secondhand tobacco smoke on children’s health have been widely researched, but the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke on young children are unknown. Our results suggest that children who are exposed to secondhand marijuana smoking are more likely to get respiratory illnesses. As additional states in the United States legalize recreational marijuana usage, this may have major health consequences.”

Corresponding Author: Adam Johnson

78 (5.2%) of the parents and caregivers who took part in the study said they frequently smoked or vaped just marijuana, 214 (14.3%) said they regularly smoked only tobacco, and 80 (5.4%) said they regularly smoked both marijuana and tobacco. Researchers discovered that those who only smoked marijuana were younger, more educated, less likely to identify as Hispanic, and had a better income than people who did not smoke or only smoked tobacco. Parents and caregivers who smoked both marijuana and tobacco were younger and less likely than non-smokers to identify as Hispanic. In comparison to individuals who only smoked marijuana and those who only smoked tobacco, they also had lower income and education levels than nonsmokers.

According to Adam Johnson, “In a US state where recreational and medical marijuana use is allowed, our results emphasize the frequency of marijuana use among parents and caregivers, as well as which children are more likely to be exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke. These results may be utilized to assist focus and modify public health messages targeted at parents and caregivers to increase awareness of the possible detrimental health effects of secondhand marijuana smoking exposure on children.”

The authors questioned parents and caregivers who visited the pediatric emergency department at Children’s Hospital Colorado with a kid less than 12 years old between 2015 and 2017 to see how secondhand marijuana smoking affected their children. Parents and caregivers were asked about the frequency and location of their marijuana or tobacco use, as well as how frequently their kid had gone to the emergency room or had asthma attacks, ear infections, or viral respiratory illnesses like the common cold or bronchiolitis in the previous year.

The study’s observational nature precludes inferences regarding a causal link between second-hand marijuana smoke exposure and the incidence of viral respiratory illnesses, according to the authors. Furthermore, since the authors only questioned a limited number of parents and caregivers in a single US state where marijuana use is allowed, their results may not be applicable to all children living in legal or illegal marijuana-using regions. Future study may look at the effects of various kinds of marijuana products, such as those taken orally or applied to the skin, on children when used by parents and caregivers.

Last year, a study was published in the journal Pediatrics, which sought to determine the effects of second-hand marijuana smoke on the health of children. The study involved exposing 22 children to second-hand marijuana smoke for 30 minutes, at an exposure level of 0.5 percent. The levels of THC in the children’s urine were tested at the end of the experiment.. Read more about is it illegal to smoke around a child and let us know what you think.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

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  • effects of smoking weed indoors
  • how to avoid secondhand marijuana smoke
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