Adolescent Sports Participation, E-cigarette Use, and Cigarette Smoking


      Although sport participation among adolescents has been found to lower the risk of traditional cigarette smoking, no studies to date have assessed if this type of physical activity lowers the risk of e-cigarette use among adolescents.


      National data from the 2014 and 2015 Monitoring the Future study of 12th-grade students were used and analyses were conducted in 2016. Measures for past 30–day e-cigarette use and traditional cigarette smoking were used to assess differences between adolescents who participated in at least one competitive sport during the past year and adolescents who did not. Differences in e-cigarette use and traditional cigarette smoking were assessed between 13 different sports to determine which sports were associated with a greater or lower risk of these behaviors.


      Adolescents who participated in at least one competitive sport were less likely to engage in past 30–day traditional cigarette smoking (AOR=0.73, 95% CI=0.538, 0.973) and past 30–day dual use of traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes (AOR=0.66, 95% CI=0.438, 0.982) when compared with their nonparticipating peers. Adolescents who participated in baseball/softball and wrestling were at greatest risk of e-cigarette use. Of the 13 assessed sports, none were found to lower the odds of e-cigarette use.


      No significant evidence was found that participation in a sport was a protective factor against e-cigarette use. Certain types of athletes are at an elevated risk of e-cigarette use, and prevention efforts targeted at these specific sports should be considered by school administrators.
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