The UK needs to be prepared for a steep rise in the number of young adults affected by a severe form of lung disease due to their regular cannabis and tobacco use, according to lung specialists at the British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting this month.

An observational study in Bangor, North Wales analyzed patients attending emergency departments with a severe and accelerated form of emphysema linked to their high use of cannabis and tobacco. Some patients were in their 30s and the whole sample had smoked 5 ‘joints’ a day – or more – for at least a decade.