The Role of Cigarillo Flavor in the Co-Use of Cigarillos and Cannabis among Young Adults

Background: Research suggests flavor facilitates cigarillo use, but it is unknown if flavor impacts patterns of co-use of cigarillos and cannabis (“co-use”), which is common among young adult smokers. This study’s aim was to determine the role of the cigarillo flavor in co-use among young adults. Methods: Data were collected (2020-2021) in a cross-sectional online survey administered to young adults who smoked ≥2 cigarillos/week (N = 361), recruited from 15 urban areas in the United States. A structural equation model was used to assess the relationship between flavored cigarillo use and past 30-day cannabis use (flavored cigarillo perceived appeal and harm as parallel mediators), including several social-contextual covariates (e.g., flavor and cannabis policies). Results: Most participants reported usually using flavored cigarillos (81.8%) and cannabis use in the past 30 days (“co-use”) (64.1%). Flavored cigarillo use was not directly associated with co-use (p = 0.90). Perceived cigarillo harm (β = 0.18, 95% CI = 0.06, 0.29), number of tobacco users in the household (β = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.10, 0.33), and past 30-day use of other tobacco products (β = 0.23, 95% CI = 0.15, 0.32) were significantly positively associated with co-use. Living in an area with a ban on flavored cigarillos was significantly negatively associated with co-use (β = -0.12, 95% CI = -0.21, -0.02). Conclusions: Use of flavored cigarillos was not associated with co-use; however, exposure to a flavored cigarillo ban was negatively associated with co-use. Cigar product flavor bans may reduce co-use among young adults or have a neutral impact. Further research is needed to explore the interaction between tobacco and cannabis policy and use of these products.


Keywords:

cannabis; cigarillo; flavor; regulatory science; young adult.

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