It’s estimated that some 19% of adults living in the United States today smoke cigarettes. This is a decrease of about 6% since 2005, but still a very high number. However, by international standards the United States has one of the lowest rates of smoking when compared with Europe which stands at a massive 29%.
The decline in smoking across the United States is the desired result of years of public campaigning by successive governments and organizations. Changes to how cigarettes are sold, advertised and even packaged have played a large role in this process. So too have the countless public health awareness campaigns which have been highly successful at educating the population on the health effects of smoking.
Over 16 million Americans are suffering with a smoking-related disease today. These include lung cancer, heart disease, liver cancer, diabetes, emphysema, rheumatoid arthritis and strokes. Even second hand smoke causes major health concerns and can lead to smoking-related diseases such as these after a period of time. Every year over 480,000 Americans die as a direct result of a smoking-related disease.
In recent years, researchers have begun to investigate whether or not cannabis has some role to play in this area. There have been some studies which show that cannabis can be effective in the treatment of alcoholism and substance abuse.
The abuse of of alcohol can result in both physical and mental health issues. Studies show that alcohol use disorder can be known as a chronic brain disease connect to relapse, which is symptomatic by; no control over alcohol consumption, difficulty in stopping and negative social/occupational/health outcomes. Although difficult to quit entirely, recovery is achievable. Statistics show that 88,008 people in America could die from an alcohol related issue each year. Not surprisingly, just below tobacco and poor diet, alcohol is currently one of the top three preventable causes of death in the United States.
Aside from potentially helping with the anxiety that quitting addiction is associated with, cannabinoids have been observed having and effect on the reward center of the brain. By reducing the “reward” felt when addictive needs are satisfied, it reduces their allure.
Research is piling up on this topic, and studies are looking positive. However, studies are still ongoing and there is still not enough concrete evidence to support the claims surrounding the cannabis plant. CBD is not a miracle drug, but it may help those that struggle to quit an addiction or for those trying not to relapse.