Patterns and correlates of polytobacco use in the United States over a decade: NSDUH 2002-2011

Addict Behav. 2014 Apr;39(4):768-81. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.12.015. Epub 2013 Dec 29.


Background: Few studies have examined the patterns and correlates of polytobacco use among a large, nationally representative population over an extended period of time.

Methods: This study examined 10years of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to establish time trends and correlates for exclusive and mixed use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco (SLT), cigars, and pipes.

Results: Results show that rates of polytobacco use were essentially unchanged from 2002 to 2011 (8.7% to 7.4%), though some product combinations, including cigarettes and SLT, cigars and SLT, and use of more than two products have increased. In tobacco users under age 26, the proportion of polytobacco use increased, even as overall tobacco use declined. The factors associated with polytobacco use among tobacco users included sex, income, education, risk taking/seeking behaviors, and outward indicators of 'risk-liability'.

Conclusions: Findings provide a snapshot of trends of single and polytobacco product use as well as trends in combinations of product use. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine the sequence of individual patterns of tobacco product use and to identify whether polytobacco use results in greater nicotine dependence, increased exposure to harmful and potentially harmful constituents and/or greater risk of tobacco related disease.

Keywords: Cigarettes; Cigars; Polytobacco use; Smokeless tobacco; Tobacco; Tobacco use trends.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco Products / classification
  • Tobacco Products / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Use / trends*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult