Secondhand marijuana smoke is a front and center issue as more states approve legal recreational use. Marijuana/cannabis is gaining ground with tobacco giant Altria (parent company of Philip Morris), stepping up its state and federal marijuana lobbying efforts to become the cannabis product market leader. This is the same company that targeted the hospitality industry for years with economic and ventilation misinformation via the Philip Morris Accommodation and Options programs designed to prevent casinos and other hospitality businesses from implementing smokefree policies.

Related current reading regarding Big Tobacco & Marijuana:



The Facts about secondhand marijuana/cannabis smoke:

  • Smoke is smoke. Breathing any type of smoke is harmful to health. Secondhand marijuana smoke is a health hazard for nonsmokers and smokers.
  • There is now enough scientific evidence to affirm that secondhand marijuana smoke creates a serious health risk to the public.
  • Just like secondhand tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is a potent source of PM 2.5 fine particulate matter, which is hazardous regardless of source, including wildfires and air pollution.
  • Secondhand marijuana smoke impacts cardiovascular function, and it contains hundreds of chemicals and at least 33 carcinogens.
  • In short, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and everyone should have the right to breathe smokefree air in public places and workplaces.
  • Smokefree spaces should be free of all types of secondhand smoke.
  • This is a social justice issue. Gaps in smokefree protections, like allowing for on-site marijuana consumption, means that people working in those spaces will compromise their health for a paycheck. Everyone deserves to breathe smokefree air.
  • The reason public health and tobacco control needs to engage in this issue is to protect our clean indoor air laws from roll backs for marijuana/cannabis smoking and vaping indoors.
  • The American Society for Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineering (ASHRAE) is the organization that develops engineering standards for building ventilation systems. ASHRAE now bases its ventilation standard for acceptable indoor air quality on an environment that is completely free from secondhand tobacco smoke, secondhand marijuana smoke, and emissions from electronic smoking devices.
  • It is important to thread the needle with marijuana legislation and be ready to quickly engage if language or amendments are added that would bring smoking and vaping marijuana indoors and rollback smokefree protections.  We don’t take a position on decriminalizing or legalizing medicinal or recreational marijuana nor on anyone’s personal use of marijuana. Bottom line: use of marijuana should not be done in ways that harm others.

Learn more about the health hazards of secondhand marijuana/cannabis smoke.