Cannabis is becoming more widely accepted with today’s population and there are so many reasons why that’s a good thing. One reason to be grateful is the cannabis vs nicotine debate. Weed’s growing popularity has made it a good alternative to nicotine for many.

This article will look at the cannabis vs nicotine issue so you can see how tides are turning.

Cannabis vs Nicotine: Cannabis More Popular Than Nicotine in Seattle

The people of Seattle are heavily favoring cannabis vs nicotine. Surveys conducted by the Nielsen research firm between March 2021 and January 2022 showed that around 20% (865,000 people) of adults 18 and over had used cannabis in the past 30 days as compared to 13% (560,000) who used nicotine in that same time frame.

While Seattle’s 7% gap is impressive, there is a city with an even wider differential among cannabis vs nicotine users, and that’s Portland. The area was looking at 20.8% for cannabis as opposed to 12.7% for nicotine making for an 8.1% gap.

San Francisco came in third place with 16.1% vs 9.9% making for a 6.2% cannabis vs nicotine gap.

Out of 83 markets in the survey, 16 showed that cannabis beat out nicotine. Here’s how some of the other cities ranked:

Other Factors to Consider in the Cannabis vs. Nicotine Survey

Here are some other factors the survey revealed:

Where was Nicotine More Popular?

Although 16 metro areas showed high popularity rates among cannabis products, there were plenty of regions where nicotine won out. These are mostly in the Southeast part of the country. They include Charleston-Huntington, West Virginia, and Knoxville Tennessee.

These regions have a 25% rate of nicotine users on average. Knoxville showed a 17% gap in favor of nicotine.


Cannabis was generally more popular than nicotine in states where weed is legal. But this is not the case across the board.

For example. Rhode Island’s first recreational cannabis shops opened in December after the studies were conducted. Only medical marijuana is permitted in Utah, but nicotine use and cannabis use were equal in the Salt Lake City metro area with both coming in at about 8%.


If you break down the group of cannabis vs nicotine users in terms of demographics, you will find there is a greater cannabis contingent for younger users, but older users favor cannabis as well. The average age of participants in the Neilson survey was 44. 23% of people under 35 favored cannabis while 16% used nicotine. This compares to 14% of cannabis users vs. 10% of nicotine users among those 50 and over.

There was no marked difference as far as gender and racial groups were concerned. Men were just more slightly to use both than women.

Seattle adults with a four-year college degree were more likely to use cannabis or nicotine as compared to those with no degree. About 17% of adults without a college degree were more likely to smoke cigarettes or vape as compared to 5% of college grads.

Is Smoking Marijuana Bad for You?

While it’s good that more people are opting for weed in the cannabis vs nicotine debate, you should be aware that cannabis comes with its share of dangerous side effects when considering lung health.

Cannabis has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco. Research reveals that it may cause bronchitis and injure the cell linings of the large airways causing symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. It has also been shown to produce air pockets between the lungs and chest wall.

Smoking marijuana may also damage the immune system and be especially harmful to those with weakened immunity. It diminishes the lungs’ ability to fight infection by killing cells that remove dust and germs and causes mucus production. This could lead to an increased risk of lower respiratory infections.

Marijuana smoking can also increase the risk of infections among those who are HIV positive, although it does not seem to affect the development of AIDs. It can also cause Aspergillus, a mold that causes lung disorders in people with a weakened immune system. However, it rarely causes conditions in people with healthy immunity.

Cannabis vs Nicotine: Which is Worse for Health?

While cannabis can do its share of damage to the lungs, it has not been linked to tobacco related cancers such as lung and colorectal cancer. Furthermore, the compounds in cannabis have been shown to kill numerous types of cancer such as leukemia, breast and prostate cancer, glioma, skin cancer, lung cancer, and pheochromocytoma. However, the effects of cannabis can vary.

You must also consider that cannabis isn’t always smoked. It can also be eaten, vaped, or taken as an oil. According to research, eating cannabis or taking it as an oil is not harmful to lung health.

Vaping cannabis can be less harmful than outright smoking. However, if there is a chemical called vitamin E acetate in your vape, beware. In 2019, an outbreak of severe lung disease from vaping was blamed on this vitamin.

When it comes to cannabis vs nicotine for lung health, cannabis clearly wins out. It’s fortunate that more people are choosing it in many regions across the U.S. Let’s keep up the trend!