Blunts and blowtjes: Cannabis use practices in two cultural settings and their implications for secondary prevention

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Stephen J. Sifaneck
Charles D. Kaplan
Eloise Dunlap
Bruce D. Johnson


This paper explores two modes of cannabis preparation and smoking which have manifested with in the drug subcultures of the United States and the Netherlands. Smoking "blunts," or hollowed out cigar wrappers filled with marijuana, is a phenomenon which first emerged in New York City in the mid 1980s, and has since spread throughout the United States. A "blowtie," (pronounced "blow-cha") a modern Dutch style joint which is mixed with tobacco and  includes a card-board filter and a longer rolling paper, has become the standard mode of cannabis smoking in the Netherlands as well as much of Europe. Both are considered newer than the more traditional practices of preparing and smoking cannabis, including the traditional filter-less style joint, the pot pipe, an d the bong or water pipe. These newer styles of preparation and smoking have implications for secondary prevent on efforts with active young cannabis users. On a social and ritualistic level these practices serve as a means of self-regulating cannabis use. Since both smoking modes involve combining cannabis with tobacco, they also increase and compound the health risks posed to the user.

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