Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Lung Association urges Canadians and decision makers alike to consider the lung health of Canadians as further steps are taken in the legalization process of marijuana.
The recent announcement by Canada’s health minister, the Honourable Jane Phillpot at the UN General Assembly in New York, concerning federal legislation to legalize marijuana in spring 2017, prompts the Lung Association to speak out on behalf of Canadians.
While the Association cannot comment on the legalization aspect of marijuana, it is important that the process takes into consideration the lung health of all Canadians.
“It is imperative that the health effects of marijuana are examined and fully explained to Canadians,” says Debra Lynkowski, CEO The Lung Association.
The inhalation of smoke is harmful to lung health, as the combustion of materials releases toxins and carcinogens. Cannabis smoke has many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Furthermore, while knowledge about the long-term effects of marijuana smoke is still limited, early research shows that it may lead to chronic bronchitis.
“Much like we all committed to educating Canadians about the harmful effects of tobacco and cigarettes, we must all commit to educating Canadians about marijuana. For this reason, we recommend that there is dedicated funding that considers the acute and long-term effects of marijuana use.”
The Lung Association applauds Phillpot’s focus on harm reduction and consideration for youth and children as the legislation is introduced next year.