Yo, what’s good? My name is Dan and I’m here to talk about a new study that just dropped in the Journal of Health Economics. This study is all about weed and tobacco, and how they’re connected since weed became legal. The study was done by a few big universities, like Bentley University, San Diego State University and Georgia State University. These Ivy League scholars wanted to know if smoking weed would make people smoke less tobacco. And guess what? They found out that it did!
The study peeped three key findings. The first one was that when states adopted recreational marijuana laws (RML), more people started smoking weed, even through vaping. The second one is that there’s no evidence that legalizing weed made more people smoke tobacco. And the last finding was that when recreational marijuana dispensaries opened up in states with RML, more people used electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) than those without dispensaries.
This study also found out that more recreational dispensaries are leading to fewer people smoking tobacco. That’s right, bruh! More weed shops means less cigarettes and cigars. But some public health experts are concerned about the rise of weed smoking and say we need to do more research before we can really say what the impact of weed legalization is on public health. They’re worried about things like “renormalization of smoking” because of the rise in weed use.
But let’s get real for a minute. Tobacco has been known to cause cancer for a long time now. In the 1960s, the Surgeon General released a report saying that smoking cigarettes was responsible for a 70% increase in death rates among smokers than non-smokers. That’s crazy! And now, almost 60 years later, tobacco use has gone way down. The researchers found out that this decrease happened earlier in states where they legalized recreational weed than those where they didn’t.
The researchers also found out that some people who used to smoke tobacco switched to smoking weed instead. That’s because weed and tobacco can be substitutes for each other. So instead of smoking a cigarette, they smoke a joint. And that’s better for everyone, right?
Now, let me tell you about what’s happening in California. The lawmakers there are trying to phase out tobacco by banning it for anyone born after 2006. But big tobacco companies don’t want to just sit around and lose money. They’re turning to the cannabis industry instead. One of the biggest tobacco companies in the world, British American Tobacco (BAT), bought a German cannabis company last year.
But don’t worry, fam! Other studies have shown that weed legalization is actually helping people smoke less. One study found that people in states where weed is legal are drinking less alcohol and smoking fewer cigarettes. And another study showed that way more Australians support weed than tobacco. Plus, a Gallup poll from August 2022 found that Americans are smoking more weed than cigarettes.
So there you have it, folks! Weed is helping people smoke less tobacco, and that’s good news for everyone. Smoke ’em if you got ’em!