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Can an Alpha smoke, vape or eat marijuana?

Since the risk of developing lung disease related to Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) is significantly increased by smoking, Alpha-1 patients should not smoke. In addition, Alphas should avoid being exposed to second hand smoke, occupational smoke, fumes or particulate matter. Regarding vaping, this should also be avoided. While vaping has been promoted by the tobacco industry as a “safer” form of inhaling tobacco, there is a lot unknown about its safety. The inhaled vaporized fluid contains chemicals. The effects of these inhaled chemicals on the lungs is not known, but there are already reports of patients who have developed sever lung disease following vaping. Eating marijuana, which make be used as an appetite stimulant or relief of pain and/or anxiety will not pose a lung health risk to Alphas.

Alpha-1-To-One, Winter 2018
Steven R. Hays, MD
Professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, and medical director of the Advanced Lung Disease and Lung Transplant Program of the University of California, San Fransisco (USCF).