Whether it's 420 gatherings wreathed in massive clouds, Snoop Dogg lighting endless blunts, or 1970s housewives lounging in a bathrobe with a joint in one hand and a glass of chardonnay in another, using cannabis remains inextricably linked - at least in pop culture - with the act of smoking.

It's a perception so entrenched that a recent National Post op-ed vociferously proclaimed the irony of Canada's stringent anti-tobacco laws - which prohibit people from smoking cigarettes indoors, on patios, in restaurants, and anywhere in the vicinity of a public entrance - when Canada is planning to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

"It raises a delicious incongruence, as 'progressive' forces seek to ban smoking on one hand, while legalizing marijuana on the other," writes columnist Kelly McParland, "Could Canada become the only country on the planet to ban smoking, unless it's pot? 'Is that a cigarette I see in your mouth young man? Oh, sorry, it's a doobie. Need a light?' "

It would be ironic - if it weren't 2016

That would, indeed, be a delicious irony - if that were how cannabis consumption looked in 2016. Study after study has found that while marijuana use remains as popular, or even more popular, than ever, the number of people lighting "doobies" continues to shrink.

Vaporizers are more sophisticated and higher-end than ever: given the choice between a conspicuous, smelly joint, and taking a surreptitious vape hit, more health-conscious consumers are going smokeless.

As well, the rise of edibles - and the proliferation of reliable recipes and dosing information - means that today's cannabis consumer doesn't ever have to master the art of blunt-rolling, or expose themselves to carcinogenic smoke, or order to get high.

The bottom line? Though a lot of people still do smoke joints, equating cigarette smoking with cannabis consumption is a bit of a fallacy.

Fortunately, McParland is right about one thing: "It's a good thing that most people don't smoke. And there should be no let-up in educating Canadians about the horrific consequences of smoking. But Canadians have the right to make their own mistakes."

h/t National Post