Associations Between Product Type and Intensity of Tobacco and Cannabis Co-use on the Same Day Among Young Adult Smokers: Smartphone-Based Daily-Diary Study


Background:

Co-use of tobacco and cannabis is highly prevalent among young US adults. Same-day co-use of tobacco and cannabis (ie, use of both substances on the same day) may increase the extent of use and negative health consequences among young adults. However, much remains unknown about same-day co-use of tobacco and cannabis, in part due to challenges in measuring this complex behavior. Nuanced understanding of tobacco and cannabis co-use in terms of specific products and intensity (ie, quantity of tobacco and cannabis use within a day) is critical to inform prevention and intervention efforts.


Objective:

We used a daily-diary data collection method via smartphone to capture occurrence of tobacco and cannabis co-use within a day. We examined (1) whether the same route of administration would facilitate co-use of 2 substances on the same day and (2) whether participants would use more tobacco on a day when they use more cannabis.


Methods:

This smartphone-based study collected 2891 daily assessments from 147 cigarette smokers (aged 18-26 years, n=76, 51.7% female) during 30 consecutive days. Daily assessments measured type (ie, cigarette, cigarillo, or e-cigarette) and intensity (ie, number of cigarettes or cigarillos smoked or number of times vaping e-cigarettes per day) of tobacco use and type (ie, combustible, vaporized, or edible) and intensity (ie, number of times used per day) of cannabis use. We estimated multilevel models to examine day-level associations between types of cannabis use and each type of tobacco use, as well as day-level associations between intensities of using cannabis and tobacco. All models controlled for demographic covariates, day-level alcohol use, and time effects (ie, study day and weekend vs weekday).


Results:

Same-day co-use was reported in 989 of the total 2891 daily assessments (34.2%). Co-use of cigarettes and combustible cannabis (885 of the 2891 daily assessments; 30.6%) was most commonly reported. Participants had higher odds of using cigarettes (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.92, 95% CI 1.31-2.81) and cigarillos (AOR 244.29, 95% CI 35.51-1680.62) on days when they used combustible cannabis. Notably, participants had higher odds of using e-cigarettes on days when they used vaporized cannabis (AOR 23.21, 95% CI 8.66-62.24). Participants reported a greater intensity of using cigarettes (AOR 1.35, 95% CI 1.23-1.48), cigarillos (AOR 2.04, 95% CI 1.70-2.46), and e-cigarettes (AOR 1.48, 95% CI 1.16-1.88) on days when they used more cannabis.


Conclusions:

Types and intensities of tobacco and cannabis use within a day among young adult smokers were positively correlated, including co-use of vaporized products. Prevention and intervention efforts should address co-use and pay attention to all forms of use and timeframes of co-use (eg, within a day or at the same time), including co-use of e-cigarettes and vaporized cannabis, to reduce negative health outcomes.


Keywords:

EMA; cannabis; data collection; intensive longitudinal data; mHealth; smartphone data; smartphone-based data collection; substance co-use; substance use; tobacco; young adults.

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