Data from the Tucson epidemiological study of airways obstructive disease on smoking of non-tobacco cigarettes such as marijuana were analysed to determine the effect of such smoking on respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function. Among adults aged under 40, 14% had smoked non-tobacco cigarettes at some time and 9% were current users. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms was increased in smokers of non-tobacco cigarettes. After tobacco smoking had been controlled for men who smoked non-tobacco cigarettes showed significant decreases in expiratory flow rates at low lung volumes and in the ratio of the forced expiratory volume in one second to the vital capacity. This effect on pulmonary function in male non-tobacco cigarette smokers was greater than the effect of tobacco cigarette smoking. These data suggest that non-tobacco cigarette smoking may be an important risk factor in young adults with respiratory symptoms or evidence of airways obstruction.