UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Declining rates of health problems associated with crack smoking during the expansion of crack pipe distribution in Vancouver, Canada Prangnell, Amy; Dong, Huiru; Daly, Patricia; Milloy, M. J; Kerr, Thomas; Hayashi, Kanna


Background: Crack cocaine smoking is associated with an array of negative health consequences, including cuts and burns from unsafe pipes, and infectious diseases such as HIV. Despite the well-established and researched harm reduction programs for injection drug users, little is known regarding the potential for harm reduction programs targeting crack smoking to reduce health problems from crack smoking. In the wake of recent crack pipe distribution services expansion, we utilized data from long running cohort studies to estimate the impact of crack pipe distribution services on the rates of health problems associated with crack smoking in Vancouver, Canada. Methods: Data were derived from two prospective cohort studies of community-recruited people who inject drugs in Vancouver between December 2005 and November 2014. We employed multivariable generalized estimating equations to examine the relationship between crack pipe acquisition sources and self-reported health problems associated with crack smoking (e.g., cut fingers/sores, coughing blood) among people reported smoking crack. Results: Among 1718 eligible participants, proportions of those obtaining crack pipes only through health service points have significantly increased from 7.2% in 2005 to 62.3% in 2014 (p 

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