Non-smokers who use cannabis may be at an increased risk of taking up cigarette smoking, a study has found.
According to the research, former smokers who use cannabis are also more likely to relapse to cigarette smoking.
The analyses, published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, were based on data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2001-2002 and 2004-2005, and responses from 34,639 individuals to questions about cannabis use and smoking status.
"Developing a better understanding of the relationship between marijuana use and cigarette use transitions is critical and timely as cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease," said Renee Goodwin from Columbia University in the US.
The study suggested that marijuana use is associated with increased odds of smoking onset, relapse and persistence.
A previous study showed that the use of cannabis by cigarette smokers had increased dramatically over the past two decades to the point where smokers are more than five times as likely as non-smokers to use marijuana daily.
The researchers advised that additional attention to cannabis use in tobacco control efforts and in clinical settings aimed at reducing cigarette smoking and smoking related negative consequences may be warranted.