All tobacco products put people at risk for many diseases. Tobacco products, and anything else that is burned that forms smoke, have chemicals that are harmful to your lungs and breathing. No matter what form of tobacco product you use, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.
Learn about AlbertaQuits, a FREE program for Albertans looking to quit or reduce tobacco and e-cigarette use.
- Talk to a counselor at the AlbertaQuits helpline. FREE for all Alberta residents, it’s open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Call toll-free at 1-866-710-7848.
- Reach out to your doctor or other healthcare provider for one-to-one tobacco counseling.
- Sign up for AlbertaQuits by Text. It’s a FREE 3-month text messaging program that delivers motivational messages, advice and tips to your cell to help you quit. Text the word ABQUITS to number 123456 to register.
Vaping products are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid solution to deliver an aerosol (vapour/cloud) that users inhale.
The liquid inside the cartridge is called e-juice (vaping liquid or e-liquid) which often contains a carrier solvent of propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerol, nicotine and flavours consisting of chemicals and other harmful substances.
What you need to know about vaping: Facts, risk, frequently asked questions (download PDF)
The health effects of cannabis (e.g. marijuana, weed, flower) are determined in large part by how it’s consumed. It is commonly smoked, either in a ‘joint’, or using pipes, bongs, or vaping devices.
There are still unknowns about the long-term effect of cannabis on lung health. But we do know that inhaling smoke is harmful to lung health because the combustion of any materials (cannabis, tobacco or wood) releases toxins and carcinogens.
Knowledge about the long-term effects of cannabis smoke is limited but early research has demonstrated it can lead to chronic bronchitis [study]. Other studies suggest frequent and heavy cannabis smoking is associated with cough, sputum production, wheezing, and a decline in lung function.
There are safer non-smoking options, like taking edibles or oils, that are better for your lungs. However, these alternatives aren’t risk-free either.
Alberta Lung aspires to a future free of lung disease. Prevention is one key element that could help us towards this future. A completely smoke-free future is needed to help prevent lung disease.
Second-hand Cannabis Smoke
Second-hand cannabis smoke contains many of the same toxins and chemicals found in directly inhaled cannabis smoke.
More research on the health effects of second-hand cannabis smoke is needed. Until then, we remain concerned about the potential harmful effects, especially among vulnerable populations such as children and youth. No one should be exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke.
Cannabis Use for Medical Purposes
Determining whether cannabis is appropriate to treat your symptoms is best done through a discussion with your healthcare provider. Alberta Lung is concerned with the effects of smoking cannabis on the respiratory health of Albertans. We are committed to research that explores the long-term effects on lung health as well as the efficacy of cannabis for people with chronic lung disease.