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, 42 (12), 2385-2393

Electronic Cigarette Use and Risk of Harmful Alcohol Consumption in the U.S. Population


Electronic Cigarette Use and Risk of Harmful Alcohol Consumption in the U.S. Population

Walter Roberts et al. Alcohol Clin Exp Res.


Background: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is an increasingly common method of nicotine delivery in the general population. It is well-established that tobacco users are at increased risk to engage in hazardous drinking and meet criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD) relative to nonusers. Less is known, however, about the risk of harmful alcohol use among people who use e-cigarettes. The current study reports on the association between e-cigarette and alcohol use in the U.S. population using a nationally representative sample.

Methods: Data from 36,309 adults who participated in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-Wave III were included in the study. The Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule (AUDADIS) measured past-year e-cigarette and alcohol use outcomes. Based on past-year e-cigarette use, respondents were categorized as nonusers, nondaily users, or daily users. Alcohol use outcomes were drinking quantity/frequency, binge drinking frequency, AUD diagnostic status, and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism-defined hazardous drinking status.

Results: Controlling for demographic characteristics, daily and nondaily e-cigarette users showed increased risk of harmful alcohol use compared to e-cigarette nonusers, including hazardous drinking (adjusted odds ratios [AORs] = 1.69; 2.48), AUD (AORs = 1.89; 2.44), and binge drinking frequency (AORs = 1.30 to 3.30). Nondaily e-cigarette use was associated with higher levels of risk than was daily use. Secondary analyses examined alcohol use outcomes according to participants' patterns of dual tobacco cigarette/e-cigarette use. These analyses confirmed that e-cigarette use alongside tobacco cigarette use is associated with additive risk of harmful alcohol consumption, particularly among nondaily users.

Conclusions: E-cigarette users, particularly those who engage in nondaily and dual use, show elevated rates of harmful alcohol use. Heavy drinking may constitute a source of health risk among e-cigarette users.

Keywords: Alcohol Use Disorder; E-cigarettes; Hazardous Drinking; Nicotine; Smoking.

Conflict of interest statement

Declarations of interest: No author has any conflict of interest to declare.

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