Most US adults believe that marijuana use poses fewer risks to health than does either the use of alcohol or cigarettes, according to nationwide polling data compiled by Gallup.
According to the survey, 95% of adults perceive smoking cigarettes to be either “very harmful or somewhat harmful” to health. Meanwhile, 80% of adults say that consuming alcohol is harmful.
By contrast, only 58% of respondents described marijuana cannabis as either “very harmful or somewhat harmful.”
Gallup’s poll comes just days after survey data published in the journal JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Network Open reported that a plurality of Americans perceive tobacco smoke exposure to be more hazardous than marijuana.
Gallup’s findings are consistent with those of other recent polls, including data published earlier this year reporting that most Americans consider marijuana to be significantly less harmful than cigarettes, alcohol, and opioids.
The paper’s authors concluded, “In terms of [health-related] costs per user: Tobacco-related health costs are over $800 per user, alcohol-related health costs are much lower at $165 per user, and cannabis-related health costs are the lowest at $20 per user.”
Several scientific analyses comparing the health burdens associated with the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis have concluded that marijuana poses far fewer hazards to health. Specifically, a paper published in the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal estimated that health-related costs per user are eight times higher for drinkers of alcoholic beverages than they are for those who use cannabis, and that they are more than 40 times higher for tobacco smokers.
“The Arizona Dispensaries Association’s mission is to promote and advocate for a safe, patient- and consumer-focused cannabis industry in Arizona,” said Ann Torrez, executive director of the ADA. “As patients and consumers continue to understand the health benefits of responsible cannabis use versus the overwhelming amount of risks of tobacco, pharmaceuticals and alcohol, their overall wellness can be dramatically improved. Key factors to achieve this include continuing to break the stigma of marijuana use and educating the public on where to access lab-tested marijuana products in regulated and licensed dispensaries in Arizona. It is imperative to avoid fake, synthetic products that can put your health at risk.”