Researching the tobacco/pot link

Kingscliff researcher Annie Banbury is studying cannabis and tobacco.
Kingscliff researcher Annie Banbury is studying cannabis and tobacco. Blainey Woodham

DO YOU like to mull? In this case we are talking about mixing tobacco and cannabis together.

If so, and you are a male between 25 and 34, Kingscliff Health Centre research project officer Annie Banbury wants to talk about your smoking history and habits.

The North Coast Area Health Service and University of NSW are doing a joint study on the relationship between tobacco and cannabis.

The Federally-funded project aims to understand why the North Coast has higher than usual numbers of men in the 25-34 age group who smoke cigarettes. It is believed men stay addicted to tobacco because they mull, Mrs Banbury said.

A man from Mullumbimby, who asked not to be named, spoke to The Northern Star about his mulling habits.

“Every few weeks I mix. I've been a smoker since I was 14. If you use cannabis straight, you use too much,” he said.

Mrs Banbury wants to interview 15 non-indigenous men and 10 indigenous men to find out when they started smoking tobacco and cannabis. She has interviewed four men so far and will travel to regional health centres for more interviews.

“It is a qualitative study, it's not about huge numbers, but we use grounded theory to analyse the thoughts, meanings and process of why men smoke,” she said.

The identities of participants will be kept confidential. Mrs Banbury said that interviews were taped and took about an hour. Participants are offered $50 in vouchers to cover expenses.

The research will influence the work carried out by the tobacco team at the NCAHS and the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre at the University of NSW in Sydney.

Call Mrs Banbury on 0409 461 174 to take part.

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