(CBSNews) Smoking pot might harm your heart health and that of the people around you — perhaps even more than cigarettes, a new animal study suggests.
Lab rats experienced a severe reduction in their blood vessel function after a minute’s exposure to secondhand smoke from either tobacco or marijuana, researchers said.
But it took the rats three times longer to recover from a minute of secondhand marijuana smoke, compared with tobacco smoke, the researchers found.
“If people think marijuana smoke is somehow exempt from the harmful effects oftobacco and many other kinds of smoke, this is evidence that it is not,” said study senior author Matthew Springer, a professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco.
The rats’ arteries carried blood less efficiently for at least 90 minutes following exposure to marijuana smoke, but began recovering from tobacco smoke within 30 minutes, the study found.
Smoke from both sources impaired the blood vessels’ ability to expand and improve blood flow by more than half, an effect that increases short- and long-term risk of a stroke or heart attack, Springer explained.
In the future, incense might need to carry a health warning, just like tobacco. That’s the conclusion of researchers who for the first time have compared the effects of burning incense indoors to inhaling tobacco smoke.
Previous research has already shown how incense smoke can be harmful to a person’s health, but these new findings suggest that it’s worse than cigarettes by several measurements – a result that may alarm some in Asian countries, where incense burning is a common practice in the home and a traditional ritual in many temples.
“Clearly, there needs to be greater awareness and management of the health risks associated with burning incense in indoor environments,” said Rong Zhou of the South China University of Technology, in a statement to the press.
The researchers tested two types of incense against cigarette smoke to see their effects on bacteria and the ovary cells of Chinese hamsters. Both the incense products contained the common ingredients agarwood and sandalwood, which are used in incense for their fragrances.
The findings, published in Environmental Chemistry Letters, showed that incense smoke is mutagenic, which means it can cause mutations to genetic material, primarily DNA. Compared to the cigarette smoke, the incense products were found to be more cytotoxic (toxic to cells) and genotoxic (toxic to DNA). Of the 64 compounds identified in the incense smoke, two were singled out as highly toxic.
Office workers must exercise for one hour a day to combat the deadly risk of modern working lifestyles, a major Lancet study has found.
Research on more than one million adults found that sitting for at least eight hours a day could increase the risk of premature death by up to 60 per cent.
Scientists said sedentary lifestyles were now posing as great a threat to public health as smoking, and were causing more deaths than obesity.
Does anyone believe any of this claptrap any more? I don’t.