Many people believe smoking marijuana is safer than cigarettes because even heavy marijuana smokers typically inhale less smoke than tobacco smokers. Yet quantity of smoke is not the only factor to consider. For example:

  • Marijuana burns hotter than tobacco which creates a hotter smoke that, by common custom, is held in the lungs longer. This heat burns the protective lining of the lungs.
  • Marijuana smoke has 3 – 10 times the tar as tobacco and 4 times greater tar retention in the lungs after exhaling than a comparable tobacco cigarette.
  • Marijuana smoke contains as much as 50% to 75% more of some of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke.
  • One joint has been found to result in similar airflow obstruction as up to 5 tobacco cigarettes.

    Smoking marijuana is NOT safer than tobacco.


    All information provided by is meant for informative purposes only and is not intended to be treated as medical advice.

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    The Recovery center is an independent contract agency of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board of Fairfield County and is also funded by United Way of Fairfield County and the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (Ohio MHAS).