Study Shows Cigarette Use By Women Declining But Blunt Use Increasing

By Benjie Cooper

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A new study published in the American Journal of Health examines cigarette use among women during a ten year period and how it relates to cigar and blunt use. A blunt is a cigar, often flavored, where the tobacco is removed from the inside and replaced with marijuana.

The study’s research group at the University of Maryland School of Medicine used data from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2006 and 2016 to evaluate the past-month tobacco use of 8,695 pregnant women and 162,451 non-pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 44.

“Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you,” lead study author Victoria Coleman-Cowger told Reuters. “But until recently research in this area has focused primarily on the prevalence and impact of smoking tobacco during pregnancy. We now recognize that the use of tobacco products and multiple substances is not uncommon, and pregnant women who smoke tobacco cigarettes are often using other tobacco products as well.”

Researchers found that cigarette use was more common in pregnant women and non-pregnant women than blunts or cigars, but over time, they discovered that blunt use increased while cigarette use decreased.

“It is promising to see less cigarette use during pregnancy because we know that it will positively impact public health,” said Coleman-Cowger. “We need to understand not only the health effects of blunt use during pregnancy but also why pregnant women are choosing to smoke them. Do pregnant women think that blunts are safer?”

Cigar smoking remained stable during the studied decade, and smoking was heaviest during the first trimester.

The authors of the study state that neither scientific literature nor the general public truly grasp the health implications of increased blunt use and recommend that the issue is treated as a public health priority in the current age of marijuana legalization.