Objective: Previous research suggests that bidi, cigar, and marijuana use may be interrelated, but to date, this hypothesis has not been empirically tested.
Methods: We explored the relationships among use of these products using data from 17,429 youths who completed the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Variables of interest included demographics, tobacco use (i.e., cigarettes, cigars), marijuana use, and blunting (i.e., cigars filled with marijuana). Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) for past-month bidi use were generated for each variable; regression models were also generated separately by race/ethnicity.
Results: Overall, 1.1% of the youths surveyed reported past month bidi use; higher prevalence was noted for those who were past-month users of cigarettes (4.6%), cigars (7.0%), marijuana (5.8%), and blunts (7.3%). Logistic regression yielded significant odds ratios for all tobacco products, marijuana, and blunts, with the greatest odds associated with past-month cigarette use. Interestingly, the pattern varied notably by race. Among white youth, the greatest odds for past-month bidi use were associated with cigarette use (AOR=3.9), while among black youth the greatest odds were associated with blunting (AOR=9.5).
Conclusion: The findings demonstrate that the use of cigars and blunts is highly associated with bidi use among youths and these patterns differ by race/ ethnicity. Tobacco control efforts that target youths must address other tobacco products and marijuana and should be tailored appropriately and effectively, with consideration of racial, ethnic, and cultural variations.