Children who are in close proximity to people who smoke marijuana may be at higher risk for more respiratory infections due to secondhand smoke, a new study found.

In a survey of 1,500 parents and caregivers, those who regularly smoked or vaped marijuana reported more respiratory viruses among their children in the preceding year, compared to parents who did not smoke tobacco or marijuana.

“This study brings to light that there was a potential for secondhand marijuana smoke to be related to some of the same things we see with tobacco,” said lead researcher Dr. Adam Johnson, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The study only shows a link between the two and does not prove marijuana caused the illnesses, he pointed out.

“But there’s an association with caregivers that use marijuana,” Johnson said. “Their kids had a higher number of viral infections in the prior year.”

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