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The Surprising Way Legal Marijuana Affects The Alcohol And Tobacco Industries

A recent study says that marijuana legalization influences both the alcohol and tobacco industry, although in unexpected ways.

The legalization of marijuana has become a source of stress for the alcohol and tobacco industries. When researchers set out to find which market was more affected, they discovered that legal marijuana made people drink less alcohol and smoke more cigarettes.

While alcohol and marijuana appear to be totally different substances, many people have strayed from the former due to hangovers and the dangers associated with heavy drinking (and the negative effects of alcohol in general). Now that marijuana is earning more respect, many people see the plant as an activity that is natural, less harmful, and more fun.

Photo by Kobby Mendez via Unsplash.

Marketing Science published the study, which was conducted by the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. In order to find answers, researchers looked into the internet browsing habits of states with legalized cannabis and found over 28 million searches and 120 million ad impressions regarding cannabis, alcohol and tobacco.

RELATED: The Startling Health Effects Of Mixing Tobacco And Marijuana

The study found that marijuana searches increased once the drug was legalized and that search volumes for alcohol decreased significantly. “We can infer a reduction of 10.9% in alcohol searches after recreational cannabis legalization relative to the average of the pre-treatment period,” reports the study.

The other main discovery the study made was that the tobacco industry seemed to benefit from marijuana legalization, with tobacco-related online searches, ad impression and revenues all increasing significantly.

RELATED: Will Tobacco Companies Get Involved With Legal Marijuana?

With the rise of tobacco and cannabis vaping in teens and people of all ages, there’s some sense to this phenomenon. The tobacco market would benefit from reconsidering their stance on the drug or in switching things up marketing-wise. As for the future of both tobacco and cannabis, we’ll have to wait and see if the surge in lung diseases related to vaping will put a damper on their sales and growth.


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