Indoor cannabis smoke and children's health

Prev Med Rep. 2019 Mar 16;14:100853. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2019.100853. eCollection 2019 Jun.


Cannabis use is increasing and cannabis is typically consumed by smoking. This study explored how indoor secondhand cannabis smoke (SCS) was associated with child health. As part of a larger trial, air particle monitors were placed in 298 homes of families with at least one cigarette smoker and one child under 14 years old in San Diego County, California. Assessment included past 7-day indoor cigarette and cannabis use, the youngest child's exposure to cigarette smoke, and 5 smoke-related past-year child health outcomes: emergency department use for coughing/difficulty breathing; physician diagnosis of ear infection, bronchitis/bronchiolitis, asthma, or eczema/atopic dermatitis. An ordinal measure of adverse health outcomes (0, 1, or ≥2) was regressed on reported indoor cannabis smoking-the main measure of exposure (yes/no). Of 221 parents/guardians asked about cannabis use, 192 (86.9%) provided all required data, and 29 (15.1%) reported indoor cannabis smoking; reports were supported by air particle data. Homes without indoor smoking had lower average 7-day particle concentrations (1968 particles/0.01ft3) than homes with cannabis smoking only (3131 particles/0.01ft3), cigarette smoking only (3095 particles/0.01ft3), or both cigarette and cannabis smoking (6006 particles/0.01ft3). Odds of reporting a greater number of adverse health outcomes were 1.83 (95% CI = 0.89-3.80, p = 0.10) times higher for children of families with indoor cannabis smoking vs families without cannabis smoking, after controlling for exposure to cigarette smoke and other covariates. Our results do not indicate a statistically significant association. However, the magnitude of the (non-significant) association between indoor cannabis smoking and adverse health outcomes warrants more studies.

Keywords: Cannabis; Children; Health effects; Indoor air quality; Marijuana; Secondhand smoke.