The Age (AU)
AFP, Australian Foreign Press
March 27, 2006
Smoking three cannabis joints will cause you to
inhale the same amount of toxic chemicals as a whole
packet of cigarettes, according to research
Cannabis smoke contains seven times more tar and
carbon monoxide, the French National Consumers'
Institute concluded in research published in the
April edition of its monthly magazine.
The institute tested regular Marlboro cigarettes
alongside 280 specially rolled joints of cannabis
leaves and resin in an artificial smoking machine.
The tests examined the content of the smoke for tar
and carbon monoxide, as well as for the toxic
chemicals nicotine, benzene and toluene.
"Cannabis smoke contains seven times more tar and
carbon monoxide than tobacco smoke," the institute's
magazine "60 million consumers" said.
Someone smoking a joint of cannabis resin rolled
with tobacco will inhale twice the amount of benzene
and three times as much toluene as if they were
smoking a regular cigarette, the study said.
Smokers of pure cannabis leaves will also inhale
more of these chemicals than from a normal
cigarette, though the amount varies depending on the
"Smoking three joints every day -- which is becoming
frequent -- makes you run the same risks of cancer
or cardio-vascular diseases as smoking a packet of
cigarettes," the magazine said.
Cannabis is "by far" the most popular illicit drug
it said. The number of cigarette smokers and people
drinking alcohol fell in 2005, while the number of
cannabis users has increased in
over the past five years.