New research shows that patterns of cigarette and e-cigarette use in adolescent and young adult populations may serve as important indicators for current and future prescription drug misuse.
A study published in Addictive Behaviors (2023) examined the potential longitudinal impact of different cigarette and e-cigarette use trajectories among people aged 10–24 on prescription drug misuse.
Data came from waves 1–5 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study (2013–2019; n = 14,454).
Five trajectory groups emerged: (1) non-use (77.7 %); (2) early-onset cigarette use with reducing use (4.6 %); (3) ever-increasing e-cigarette use (6.1 %); (4) stable dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes (3.2 %); and (5) accelerating dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes (8.4 %).
In comparison to the non-use group, all other groups had significantly higher odds of misuse of opioids, tranquilizers, and/or sedatives and all but the early-onset cigarette use with reducing use group had significantly higher odds of misuse of Ritalin and/or Adderall by the end of wave 5.
These data indicate the need for nicotine prevention interventions among adolescents and young adults for preventing current and future misuse of prescription drugs including opioids and stimulants.
Read the full study abstract: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460323002137
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