New Study Suggests Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer

smokey-guy

In study after study, the causal relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer has been firmly established. Less so with marijuana. Smoking marijuana does damage cells in the lungs and airways—however, the damaged cells die rather than reproduce. They fail to become malignant.

In a 2005 study at UCLA, Professor Donald Tashkin’s research actually suggested that those who smoked marijuana as well as tobacco had a slightly lower risk of developing lung cancer than those who smoked tobacco only.

From Alternet:

One in three Americans will be afflicted with cancer, we are told by the government (as if it’s our immutable fate and somehow acceptable). Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. and lung cancer the leading killer among cancers.

You’d think it would have been very big news in June 2005 when UCLA medical school professor Donald Tashkin reported that components of marijuana smoke — although they damage cells in respiratory tissue — somehow prevent them from becoming malignant. In other words, something in marijuana exerts an anti-cancer effect!

Tashkin has special credibility. He was the lead investigator on studies dating back to the 1970s that identified the components in marijuana smoke that are toxic. It was Tashkin et al. who published photomicrographs showing that marijuana smoke damages cells lining the upper airways. It was the Tashkin lab’s finding that benzpyrene — a component of tobacco smoke that plays a role in most lung cancers — is especially prevalent in marijuana smoke. It was Tashkin’s data showing that marijuana smokers are more likely than non-smokers to cough, wheeze, and produce sputum.

Tashkin reviewed his findings in April 2008, at a conference organized by “Patients Out of Time,” a reform group devoted to educating doctors and the public (as opposed to lobbying politicians). Some 30 MDs and nurses got continuing medical education credits for attending the event, which was held at Asilomar, on the Monterey Peninsula.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which supported Tashkin’s marijuana-related research over the decades, readily gave him a grant in 2002 to conduct a large, population-based, case-controlled study that would prove definitively that heavy, long-term marijuana use increases the risk of lung and upper-airways cancers.

What Tashkin and his colleagues found, however, disproved their hypothesis. (Tashkin is to marijuana as a cause of lung cancer what Hans Blix was to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — an honest investigator who set out to find something, concluded that it wasn’t there, and reported his results.)

Read the whole article here.

 

Related Articles:

Recent Articles

Victory Over Big Ag: How a small town said “Yes!” to a pesticide-free future

A Precautionary Tale shares the inspiring story of a group of citizens in Mals, Italy who fought Big Ag and won and, in doing so, became the first place on Earth to ban pesticides by a referendum vote. Their colorful, courageous, and ultimately savvy campaign is being heralded around the world as a landmark effort in…

Read More

VIDEO TED2018: A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow

What would a sustainable, universally beneficial economy look like? “Like a doughnut,” says Oxford economist Kate Raworth. In a stellar, eye-opening TED2018 talk, Kate explains how we can move countries out of the hole — where people are falling short on life’s essentials — and create regenerative, distributive economies that work within the planet’s ecological limits. (Afterward,…

Read More

Freedom from Poison: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement

“The movement for freedom from poisons in our food and agriculture is the most important freedom movement in our times. . . . Read the story of Mals to get inspired. And act.” —from the foreword by VANDANA SHIVA The recent uncovering of The Poison Papers—a collection of documents revealing years of apparent collusion between companies…

Read More

Books to Curl up with this Winter!

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading…

Read More

BORN ON THIRD BASE author, Chuck Collins, to be interviewed by Bernie Sanders

On Tuesday, October 3rd at 11:30 a.m. EST, check out Facebook.com/SenatorSanders for a special Facebook Live event with Senator Bernie Sanders and Chuck Collins, Institute for Policy Studies, author of Born on Third Base, co-editor of Inequality.org. In case you miss the live broadcast, you can watch the replay on the Facebook event page. In…

Read More