Introduction: To examine prevalence and correlates of five mutually exclusive tobacco-use patterns among US youth tobacco users.
Methods: A nationally representative sample of tobacco users (N = 3202, 9-17 years) was classified into five product-use patterns. Weighted multinominal and multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine prevalence of product-use patterns by gender, race and ethnicity, and grade level; and associations between product-use patterns and perceived accessibility of tobacco products, exposure and receptivity to pro-tobacco marketing, social benefits of smoking, and tobacco-associated risks.
Results: Dual use (ie, use of two product categories) was the most prevalent pattern (30.5%), followed by non-cigarette combustible only (26.7%), polytobacco (ie, use of three product categories; 17.5%), cigarette only (14.9%), and noncombustible only (10.4%) use. Product-use patterns differed by gender, race, and ethnicity. Compared to cigarette only users, dual and polytobacco users were more likely to be exposed to and be receptive to pro-tobacco marketing, and were less likely to acknowledge tobacco-use related risks (Ps < .05).
Conclusions: Curbing tobacco use warrants research on users of more than one tobacco-product categories according to the risk-continuum categorization.
Implications: We present a risk-continuum categorization of product-use patterns among tobacco users not older than 17 years. We classify tobacco users into five mutually exclusive product-use patterns: cigarette only users, non-cigarette combustible only users, noncombustible only users, dual use, and polytobacco use. This categorization overcomes limitations in current literature on tobacco-use patterns, which include exclusion of certain products (eg, e-cigarettes) and product-use patterns (eg, exclusive users of non-cigarette products), and inconsistent classification of tobacco users. It is parsimonious yet complex enough to retain differential characteristics of sub-tobacco users based on number (single, dual, polytobacco) and categories (cigarettes, non-cigarette combustibles, noncombustibles) of tobacco products consumed.
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.