Chronic cough and weight loss in an adolescent marijuana smoker
In summary, isolated PLCH is a rare, severe lung disease that lacks definitive treatment and can cause respiratory failure. PLCH is usually seen in adult tobacco smokers, but this case report is evidence that isolated PLCH can also be seen in the adolescent and young adult population. We argue that PLCH
may be associated not only with tobacco use, but also with heavy marijuana smoking given that tobacco and marijuana contain similar chemical components, and marijuana has a known potential to cause lung diseases with features similar to those seen in PLCH. Marijuana is currently widely used
by adolescents, and as marijuana is legalized in more states, accessibility to teens will likely continue to increase. As such, the association between marijuana smoking and adolescent lung disease should be a priority for future investigation. Furthermore, general pediatricians must be aware of the potential health risks of regular marijuana use in their adolescent patients. Pediatricians should inquire about marijuana use and consider its contributing role when evaluating adolescent patients with respiratory symptoms or pulmonary disease.