Cannabis consumption in the United States has been on the rise among parents with children in their homes, a new study revealed.
The increase has been observed in parents who smoke cigarettes as well as those who don't.
Cannabis Consumption Is On The Rise
In the new study, researchers from the Mailman School of Public Health at the Columbia University and the City University of New York examined data collected from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2002 and 2015.
Based on this analysis, the researchers discovered that the rate of cannabis consumption among parents with children in their homes has increased from around 4.9 percent in 2002 to around 6.8 percent in 2015.
The researchers noticed that cannabis consumption was four times more common among parents who smoke cigarettes than those who do not smoke. Among those who smoke, consumption went up from around 11 percent in 2002 to more than 17 percent in 2015. Among those who don't smoke, consumption increased slightly from around 2 percent to only 4 percent during the same period.
In addition, the rise of cannabis consumption has been observed more in men than in women, including among younger parents.
"The results of our study support the public health gains in reducing overall child secondhand tobacco smoke but raise other public health concerns about child exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke and especially high risk for combined exposures in certain subpopulations," said Renee D. Goodwin of the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy at CUNY.
Despite the increase in the use of cannabis among parents, cigarette consumption dropped from around 27.6 percent in 2002 to 20.2 percent in 2015.
What the researchers don't know is whether the smoking of cannabis takes place inside of the house and near the children or outside of the house. Smoking cannabis outdoors and in public places is illegal, so the researchers were more inclined to believe that it occurs inside of the home.
Goodwin added that the rise of cannabis consumption in the United States might complicate the attempt to minimize exposure to secondhand smoke through the annihilation of tobacco smoking. He said that public health education programs on the exposure of secondhand smoke should consider providing parents with education on the exposure of secondhand cannabis smoke.
National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse funded the said study. The findings of the study are expected to be published in the journal Pediatrics next month.