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Dual Use of Nicotine and Cannabis Through Vaping Among Adolescents

      Introduction

      This study seeks to identify adolescent nicotine and cannabis vaping patterns and the characteristics of those adolescents who comprised each pattern.

      Methods

      This prospective longitudinal survey study measured the relationship between nicotine and cannabis vaping among 1,835 adolescents from 4 public high schools outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Adolescents completed in-classroom surveys, including questions of lifetime and past 30–day nicotine and cannabis vaping, at Wave 1 (fall 2016, ninth grade) and 6-month intervals for the following 36 months (fall 2019, 12th grade). Data were analyzed in 2021.

      Results

      A sequential processes growth mixture model revealed 4 latent conjoint classes of nicotine and cannabis vaping: early, declining dual use (Class 1: n=259); rapidly increasing dual use (Class 2: n=128); later, slower dual use (Class 3: n=313); and no use (Class 4: n=1,136). Increased odds of belonging to Class 1 and Class 2 versus belonging to Class 4 were significantly associated with cigarette smoking (OR=3.71, OR=2.21), alcohol use (OR=2.55, OR=4.39), peer vaping (OR=1.24, OR=1.20), sensation seeking (OR=1.03, OR=1.11), positive E-cigarette expectations (OR=1.21, OR=1.17), and cigar smoking (OR=2.39 Class 2 only). Increased odds of belonging to Class 3 versus Class 4 were significantly associated with alcohol use (OR=1.66), perceived benefits of E-cigarette use (OR=1.03), positive E-cigarette expectations (OR=1.08), depressive symptoms (OR=1.02), and sensation seeking (OR=1.03).

      Conclusions

      From middle to late adolescence, vaping of nicotine and cannabis develop in close parallel. Regulatory policy and prevention interventions should consider the interplay between these 2 substances during this period of adolescence.
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