Despite the widespread use of tobacco and marijuana by cocaine abusers, it remains unclear whether combined tobacco and marijuana smoking is more harmful than tobacco smoking alone in cocaine abusers. We investigated the differences in medical symptoms reported among 34 crack cocaine abusers who did not smoke tobacco or marijuana (C), 86 crack cocaine abusers who also smoked tobacco (C + T), and 48 crack abusers who smoked both tobacco and marijuana (C + T + M). Medical symptoms were recorded using a 134-item self-report instrument (MILCOM), and drug use was assessed using the Addiction Severity Index (ASI). After controlling for clinical and demographic differences, the C + T + M group reported significantly more total symptoms on the MILCOM as well as on the respiratory, digestive, general, and nose/throat subscales than the C + T or C groups. The C + T group reported higher total and respiratory and nose/throat symptoms than the C group. HOwever, the C group had the highest number of mood symptoms among the three groups. The C + T and C + T + M groups were comparable in number of cigarettes smoked and ASI scores. Although tobacco smoking is associated with higher reports of medical problems in crack abusers, smoking both marijuana and tobacco seems to be associated with greater medical problems than smoking tobacco alone. Tobacco smoking was not related to changes in cocaine use. Also, marijuana smoking does not appear to be associated with a reduction in tobacco or cocaine use.
Patkar, Ashwin A.; Batra, Vikas; Mannelli, Paolo; Evers-Casey, Sarah; Vergare, Michael J.; and Leone, Frank T., "Medical symptoms associated with tobacco smoking with and without marijuana abuse among crack cocaine-dependent patients." (2005). Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Faculty Papers. Paper 39.