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Intern Med J. 2013 Apr;43(4):456-8. doi: 10.1111/imj.12089.

Marijuana 'bong' smoking and tuberculosis.

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Department of General Medicine, Calvary Mater Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.


The incidence of tuberculosis in the non-indigenous Australian population is low. However, in this paper we report on three cases of cavitating disease, which seem to be associated with a common illicit drug habit namely smoking marijuana using a makeshift pipe or bong. There was a total of 34 positive contacts of these cases and among the contacts sharing a bong with an index case was associated with a sixfold risk of transmission (odds ratio 6.5, confidence interval 1.4-30.4, P = 0.016). When cavitating tuberculosis is detected in a young non-indigenous native born Australian, marijuana use should be considered as a possible risk factor.

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