[2195.5] Trends in Tobacco and Marijuana Use among College Freshman
Kelly Bush, Lauren Kacvinsky, Megan Moreno. Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.
BACKGROUND: Tobacco has often been considered a 'gateway' drug to subsequent marijuana use. Few studies have examined the trajectory of tobacco and marijuana use as adolescents enter college.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this longitudinal study was to evaluate patterns of tobacco use and their association with subsequent marijuana use among college students during their freshman year.
DESIGN/METHODS: Incoming college students from two universities (one on the West Coast and the other in the Midwest) were randomly selected from university registrar lists for recruitment. Participants completed phone interviews before entering college (Time 1) and one year later (Time 2). Interviews assessed tobacco and marijuana use, including lifetime and current (past 28 day) use. The TimeLine FollowBack tool was used to assess quantity and frequency of use in the past 28 days and written notes were used to record participant answers. Analysis included Wilcoxon sign rank tests and logistic regression.
RESULTS: Of 338 participants, 315 completed both interviews (93.1% retention rate). Overall, 56% were female, 75% were Caucasian and 59% were from the Midwestern university. At Time 1, 104 (33%) participants reported lifetime tobacco use and 43% of these reported current use. Tobacco users were more likely to report lifetime marijuana use than tobacco non-users (OR 23.3, 95% CI: 11.9-45.7). Of current tobacco users, 53% reported current use of both tobacco and marijuana. Average tobacco episodes per month were similar among users of tobacco only and concurrent users of tobacco and marijuana (5.6 to 7.5). By Time 2, 66% of participants who reported current tobacco use at Time 1 remained current users with an average of 33.6 tobacco episodes per month. Of these, 53% reported concurrent marijuana use. Overall, concurrent users of both substances at Time 2 averaged significantly more tobacco episodes per month than current users of tobacco only (41.9 vs. 24.1, p=0.02). While the frequency of tobacco use increased by Time 2 among current users (5.6 to 33.6, p=0.00), the frequency of marijuana use among concurrent users remained similar (13.1 to 16.8).
CONCLUSIONS: Individuals who are current users of tobacco products before entering college are more likely to also smoke marijuana. By time 2, students who use both substances report higher frequency of smoking tobacco than students who use tobacco alone. Future work should involve designing educational campaigns highlighting the increased risks of using these substances together.
First Author is a House Officer
Session: Poster Symposium Session: Risky Behaviors & High Risk Populations (8:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
Date/Time: Sunday, May 5, 2013 - 8:00 AM
Room: 145B - Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Course Code: 2195