According to the American Cancer Society, “Half of cigarette users will die because they smoke. Six million people die every year because of tobacco. This figure includes five million smokers, but also about 600,000 non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. It is expected that, without any action, eight million people will die annually, by 2030.”
Those are some scary facts, which is why marijuana opponents try very hard to paint marijuana as ‘the next big tobacco.’ Marijuana opponents hope that people don’t look further into the matter and take the claim at face value. That boogeyman reefer madness spreading doesn’t help anyone, and hurts a lot of people that refrain from using cannabis for fear that it will kill them like tobacco does.
There is not one recorded case of someone dying from marijuana in the history of human civilization. That fact alone is enough to debunk claims that marijuana is the ‘next big tobacco.’ But there is plenty of other evidence. A recent example is a study which explored the increase in the risk of a person having a stroke when they consume tobacco or marijuana. Per the conclusion listed in the publication of the study’s results:
We found no evident association between cannabis use in young adulthood and stroke, including strokes before 45 years of age. Tobacco smoking, however, showed a clear, dose-response shaped association with stroke.
The study was sizable, involving 49,321 Swedish men, born between 1949 and 1951. Some marijuana studies get criticized by opponents as not being large enough. The better side of 50,000 people is more than sufficient, especially because it involves older subjects who have a longer history of cannabis use compared to some studies that look at younger subjects. This study is encouraging, especially when it is coupled with the results of another study which found that cannabis can help people quit smoking cigarettes.