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Q: I read that smoking increases the risk of heart disease. What about marijuana?

I've treated patients in their 20s and 30s for conditions like emphysema and blocked blood vessels due to smoking marijuana. By now, many people are aware that smoking cigarettes can cause problems like a hardening of the arteries and the buildup of plaque in your blood vessels, as well as diseases like emphysema and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). But they may not realize that the health risks associated with smoking also apply to marijuana.

While smoking can lead to health problems in anyone, people who have diabetes or a family history of heart disease should be especially cautious about smoking in all forms, including marijuana.

Robert H. Connaughton, MD

Vascular surgery, General surgery

Robert H. Connaughton, MD
Maui Memorial Medical Center Outpatient Clinic
85 Maui Lani Parkway
Wailuku, HI 96793