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Use of E-Cigarettes for Nicotine, Marijuana, and Just Flavoring Among U.S. Youth

Published:December 15, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2019.09.006

      Introduction

      E-cigarette use is gaining popularity among youth, but knowledge on patterns of youth vaping different substances is limited. This study examines risk factors associated with past-30-day self-reported vaping of nicotine, marijuana, and just flavoring among youth and the patterns (single, dual, and poly) of substances youth reported in their e-cigarettes.

      Methods

      The 2017 Monitoring the Future survey was analyzed. Weighted estimates of substances that youth vaped were calculated, and multivariable logistic regressions were performed to examine risk factors associated with youth vaping these substances. Analyses were conducted in 2019.

      Results

      Overall (n=14,560), 8.0% of participants reported currently vaping just flavoring, followed by 7.4% vaping nicotine and 3.6% vaping marijuana. Youth who were in 12th and 10th grade (versus 8th grade), male (versus female), current smokers (versus noncurrent smokers), and current marijuana users (versus noncurrent users) had increased risk of vaping nicotine, marijuana, and just flavoring. Black non-Hispanics were less likely than white non-Hispanics to report currently vaping. Among students who reported e-cigarette use in the last 30 days (n=1,685), only 24.9% reported vaping just flavoring only, and a majority (75.1%) reported vaping nicotine, marijuana, or multiple substances. Higher (versus lower) grade or increasing cigarette smoking intensity was associated with a higher proportion of students reporting vaping nicotine only and a lower proportion of students reporting vaping just flavoring only.

      Conclusions

      Youth e-cigarette use reveals a complex pattern, and youth reported vaping substances potentially addictive beyond just flavoring. Strategies and interventions to reduce youth e-cigarette use are needed.
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