E-Cigarette Use Tied to Future Cannabis Use in Teens

Findings observed at the individual level, but less so at the population level, the authors say

FRIDAY, July 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) — There is a strong individual-level association between adolescent electronic cigarette use and subsequent cannabis use, according to a study published online July 22 in JAMA Network Open.

Ruoyan Sun, Ph.D., from University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues used data from 9,828 cannabis-naive adolescents participating in both wave 4.5 (2017-2018) and wave 5 (2018-2019) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study.

The researchers found that e-cigarette use among cannabis-naive adolescents was associated with increased likelihoods of both self-reported past 12-month and past 30-day cannabis use one year later after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, environmental factors, other substance use, and sensation seeking. Subsequent past 12-month cannabis use was associated with a higher risk for ever use of e-cigarettes (adjusted relative risk [aRR], 2.57), with past 12-month use of e-cigarettes (aRR, 2.62), and with past 30-day use of e-cigarettes (aRR, 2.18). Findings were similar for subsequent past 30-day cannabis use and ever use of e-cigarettes (aRR, 3.20), past 12-month use of e-cigarettes (aRR, 3.40), and past 30-day use of e-cigarettes (aRR, 2.96).

“Despite the strong association at the individual level, e-cigarette use seems to have had a minimal association with the prevalence of youth cannabis use at the population level,” the authors write.

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