PATH to understanding cannabis and nicotine initiation and co-use among emerging adults

Lisa M. Blair, Melinda Ickes, Andrea McCubbin, Kristin Ashford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics and age of initiation of nicotine and cannabis use, with a particular focus on the emerging adult period (ages 18–24 years) and concurrent use of nicotine with cannabis. Design: A secondary analysis of Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH). Sample: 32,078 participants from a nationally representative study of tobacco use and health outcomes. Measurement: Variables of interest included ever use, regular use and age of initiation (first-time use) of nicotine (including tobacco) and/or cannabis and selected demographic factors. Results: Ever-use of nicotine was associated with a 13-fold increase in the likelihood of having ever used cannabis. Among those who reported cannabis use, 96.4% had also used nicotine. While initiation in adolescence was most common, 27.1% of those who use nicotine and 34.9% of those who use cannabis initiated during emerging adulthood. Among regular users of nicotine, 41.5% began regular use in emerging adulthood. Conclusions: These findings underscore the continued susceptibility of emerging adults to initiation of these substances. Co-use of nicotine and cannabis is an understudied phenomenon in emerging adults with significant potential to cause harm and should be a public health priority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-981
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Joshua Lile of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine for assisting with the development of the idea for this study. Data for this study are publicly available from the National Addiction & HIV Data Archive, Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study Public Use Files at https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36498. The first author's time was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award number T32DA035200. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Joshua Lile of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine for assisting with the development of the idea for this study. Data for this study are publicly available from the National Addiction & HIV Data Archive, Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study Public Use Files at https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36498 . The first author's time was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award number T32DA035200. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

Keywords

  • cannabis
  • nicotine
  • population health
  • tobacco
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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