Electronic cigarette and cannabis use: results from the 2018 Maryland Youth Risk Behavior Survey
journal contributionposted on 10.08.2021, 07:17 by Amanda Luken, Johannes ThrulJohannes Thrul, Renee M Johnson
Abstract Objective To determine the relationship between lifetime e-cigarette use and current cannabis use among youth. Our analyses accounted for county variability, in addition to student-level covariates. Methods This study examined responses from high school students on a state-level population survey, the 2018 Maryland Youth Risk Behavior Survey/Youth Tobacco Survey, a cross-sectional, complex survey sample. Of participating students, final analyses included an unweighted sample of 41,091 9th to 12th grade students who provided complete reports for measured variables. Analyses with survey weights were conducted between August 2019 and May 2020. A multivariable logistic regression was conducted to investigate the association between lifetime e-cigarette use and current (past 30-day) cannabis use, after controlling for county, lifetime cigarette use, current (past 30-day) alcohol use, emotional distress, and demographics. Results Lifetime e-cigarette use significantly increased the odds of current cannabis use among Maryland high school students (aOR = 6.04; 95% CI 5.27, 6.93). Other significant risk factors for current cannabis use included lifetime cigarette use (aOR 2.23, 95% CI 1.86, 2.68) and current alcohol use (aOR 5.21, 95% CI 4.42, 6.14). Significantly higher odds of current cannabis use were also found among older high school students, males, non-Hispanic Blacks and students identifying as other race, and those reporting emotional distress. Conclusions Lifetime e-cigarette use among Maryland high school students is strongly associated with current cannabis use when including counties as a covariate. Non-significant county differences, however, suggest smaller geographical units may be required to control for variability. Efforts should focus on reducing youth e-cigarette use to decrease cannabis use. Maryland’s recent implementation of Tobacco 21 and a ban on flavored e-cigarettes will be of interest for future evaluations.