Sunday, May 17, 2009

Next to Heroin & Cocaine, Tobacco Most Addictive


According to this chart, heroin is both the most addictive and most harmful drug. On the dependence scale, the three most addicting drugs are heroin (#1), cocaine (#2) and tobacco (#3).

Update: As Colin points out in the comments, tobacco is both more addictive and more harmful than cannabis, and yet tobacco is legal and marijuana is illegal?

24 Comments:

At 5/17/2009 8:45 AM, Blogger Colin said...

According to that chart tobacco is both more addictive and causes more physical harm than cannabis. Yet it's legal while cannabis isn't.

*head explodes*

 
At 5/17/2009 10:13 AM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

Tobacco would probably be in the illegal category had it not been "grandfathered in" and widely in use in the Americas since the early history of the US.

(Just my own opinion)

 
At 5/17/2009 10:21 AM, Blogger Ironman said...

I would presume that by "physical harm," the chart is referring to the effects of each substance on the user's health. I'd be curious to see a similar chart exchanging "physical harm" with "physical harm to other persons or property." (See Table 3 here for why that might be relevant.)

For cannibis though, there is a 2001 New Zealand study that found users were 1.6 times more likely to be involved in car accidents than non-users, but that may be due more to the inherent characteristics observed in people who use regularly use it as opposed to the actual physiological effects of having used it.

[To be fair, tobacco users also have a higher incidence of motor vehicle accidents, which may be more associated with the actual act of smoking, as opposed to its physiological effects or potential impairment - the increased accident rate is similar to that of cell phone usage while driving.]

 
At 5/17/2009 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question for the pro-drug legalization crowd. Let's say that we all get on board and agree to legalize drugs of all kinds. Would it be legal for manufacturers to put addictive substances in their products? If not, why not? Coca-Cola, after all, used to contain cocaine.

 
At 5/17/2009 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cannabis Use May Cause Structural Brain AbnormalitiesScienceDaily (June 3, 2008) — Long-term, heavy cannabis use may be associated with structural abnormalities in areas of the brain known as the hippocampus and amygdala, according to a new article.Science Daily

 
At 5/17/2009 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teenage cannabis smokers face bigger risk of full-blown mental illness in later lifeTeenage cannabis users are more likely to suffer psychotic symptoms that raise the risk of full-blown mental illness in later life, claim researchers.


Adolescent drug takers interviewed for the largest study of its kind reported experiencing at least three symptoms indicating a risk of psychosis.


These included feeling like something strange or inexplicable was taking place, suspecting they were being influenced or followed and difficulty in controlling the speed of thoughts.


UK Daily Mail

 
At 5/17/2009 11:55 AM, Blogger armouris said...

info on tobacco here - Some Facts About Tobacco

 
At 5/17/2009 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cannabis bigger cancer risk than cigarettes: studyHONG KONG (Reuters) - Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an "epidemic" of lung cancers linked to cannabis.Studies in the past have demonstrated that cannabis can cause cancer, but few have established a strong link between cannabis use and the actual incidence of lung cancer.In an article published in the European Respiratory Journal, the scientists said cannabis could be expected to harm the airways more than tobacco as its smoke contained twice the level of carcinogens, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, compared with tobacco cigarettes.Reuters

 
At 5/17/2009 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marijuana Smoke Contains Higher Levels Of Certain Toxins Than Tobacco SmokeScienceDaily (Dec. 18, 2007) — Here's another reason to "keep off the grass." Researchers in Canada report that marijuana smoke contains significantly higher levels of several toxic compounds -- including ammonia and hydrogen cyanide -- than tobacco smoke and may therefore pose similar health risks.... The scientists found that ammonia levels were 20 times higher in the marijuana smoke than in the tobacco smoke, while hydrogen cyanide, nitric oxide and certain aromatic amines occurred at levels 3-5 times higher in the marijuana smoke, they say. The finding is "important information for public health and communication of the risk related to exposure to such materials," say the researchers.

Science Daily

 
At 5/17/2009 12:28 PM, Blogger geowash01 said...

Where's coffee?

 
At 5/17/2009 12:36 PM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5/17/2009 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have trouble believing Meth isn't much higher on the scale of physical harm and addiction.

Are these scales measuring the addiction and physical harm on an average user or the collective harm and number of addicts in a particular society?

How in the world would they be able to assess the extent of personal harm of a particular behavior (often associated with other bad behaviors) in a snapshot exam and survey? Do they really expect truthful revelation of usage? A typical alcoholic under-reports his consumption by 50% or more.

 
At 5/17/2009 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have trouble believing Meth isn't much higher on the scale of physical harm and addiction.You are so right. Go to this site and move your cursor over the pics.

Faces of MethThere are hundreds of these on the internet.

 
At 5/17/2009 5:37 PM, Blogger Dave Narby said...

Forgive me if I'm skeptical that solvents are less harmful than alcohol, amphetamine and ketamine...

Put down that Special K kids, try this spraypaint - It's safer!

LOLZROLFLMFAO

 
At 5/18/2009 8:30 AM, Anonymous Cromagnum said...

Where are Blogs on harmful/dependency this chart?

 
At 5/18/2009 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reply to:
"Would it be legal for manufacturers to put addictive substances in their products? If not, why not? Coca-Cola, after all, used to contain cocaine."

It would be handled the same way it is currently handled. As soon as you put an effective amount of alcohol or nicotine in a food product the food product is treated as if it is alcohol or nicotine.

 
At 5/18/2009 10:17 AM, Blogger Marko said...

Should be an issue for states to decide. Let the laboratory of the states decide the issue, but don't forget about the health cost externalities.

 
At 5/18/2009 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be handled the same way it is currently handled. As soon as you put an effective amount of alcohol or nicotine in a food product the food product is treated as if it is alcohol or nicotine.Funny, my mouthwash isn't treated as alcohol.

 
At 5/18/2009 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For everyone commenting on the risk of cancer from smoking marijuana, the risk can be mitigated by vaporizing the THC rather than burning the plant material.

 
At 5/18/2009 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long term effects of alcohol:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_effects_of_alcohol

 
At 5/18/2009 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long term effects of alcohol

 
At 5/18/2009 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consuming too much of anything for too long can cause physical and mental damage. This includes but is not limited to drugs, alcohol, food, water, sex, exercise, working, stress, sunlight, air, sleep, pollen, smoke, TELEVISION, Internet, porn, negative thoughts...

 
At 5/18/2009 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Funny, my mouthwash isn't treated as alcohol."

Yep, and neither is my after shave. They contain denatured alcohol. It's not meant to be swallowed and contains compounds that should dissuade you from drinking it unless you are an acute alcoholic or just plain stupid.

 
At 6/22/2009 2:08 AM, Blogger SINE NOMINE said...

Assuming the image is correct, it was quite stunning to me. What a crazy government.

It pushed me towards being against the government policy quite substantially.

 

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