Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has increased exponentially among the youth in the United States and may increase the incidence of substance use.
Youth participants (12-17 years) were surveyed through the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study over a three-year time period. Youth with any baseline substance use or diagnosis of an attention deficit disorder were excluded from the analysis. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to assess the association between e-cigarette use at Wave 1 and incident substance use (marijuana, painkillers, sedatives, or tranquilizers and Ritalin/Adderall) and polysubstance use at Wave 2 or 3, and marijuana use in the electronic nicotine device at Wave 3.
Baseline ever e-cigarette users who had no history of marijuana, nonprescribed drugs and illicit substance use in Wave 1 had increased odds of reporting incident use of marijuana (odds ratio 2.59, 95% confidence interval: 1.90-3.52), nonprescribed Ritalin/Adderall use (1.89, 1.09-3.28), or polysubstance use (2.09, 1.43-3.05) in Wave 2 or 3 compared to never e-cigarette users. They were also more likely to report use of marijuana in the electronic nicotine product (2.26, 1.56-3.27) in Wave 3 compared to never e-cigarette users. There was no statistically significant association between baseline e-cigarette use and incident use of painkillers, sedatives, or tranquilizers in Wave 2 or 3 (1.21, .79-1.87).
E-cigarette use is associated with incident use of marijuana, marijuana in electronic nicotine devices, Ritalin/Adderall, and polysubstance use but not painkillers, sedatives, or tranquilizers. Results indicate that e-cigarettes are associated with subsequent additional risky health behaviors in youth.
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