Abstract

Data from four consecutive surveys of Tucson longitudinal study of airways obstructive disease were used to examine the relation of respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function to non-tobacco cigarette smoking. The surveys were conducted over a six-year period and provided data on 1802 subjects 15–60 years of age, with a total of 5659 individual questionnaires. Estimated odds ratio (OR) of current non-tobacco smoking for chronic cough was 1.73, for chronic phlegm: 1.53, and for wheeze: 2.01 (p<0.05). These estimates were adjusted for age, tobacco smoking and occurrence of the symptom in preceding survey. The increased risk of the symptoms was related to the habit continued for several years, and there was no immediate remission of the symptoms after quitting smoking. A significant (p<0.05) reduction in pulmonary function (FEV1, Vmax50 and their ratios with FVC) was found a year or more after current non-tobacco smoking was reported. Although the average consumption of non-tobacco cigarettes, believed to be marijuana smoking, was less than one per day, significant effects were still detectable in both pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms.

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