Ethnic Differences in Patterns of Cigarette and E-Cigarette Use Over Time Among Adolescents

J Adolesc Health. 2019 Sep;65(3):359-365. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.04.002. Epub 2019 Jun 24.


Purpose: Little is known about whether adolescent cigarette and e-cigarette use patterns over time differ by ethnicity.

Methods: Data were pooled from three prospective cohort studies of adolescents in California and Connecticut (baseline: 2013-2014; 12-month follow-up: 2014-2015; N = 6,258). Adjusted polytomous regression models evaluated the association of baseline exclusive ever e-cigarette use, exclusive ever cigarette use, ever use of both e-cigarettes and cigarettes (dual use) with past 30-day use at follow-up (exclusively e-cigarettes, exclusively cigarettes, dual use; no use at baseline/follow-up were the referent groups). Interaction analyses evaluated differences by race/ethnicity (Hispanic white [HW], non-Hispanic white [NHW], Other).

Results: A significant global interaction was observed for the association of baseline with follow-up tobacco use by ethnicity (p = .009). Among NHW participants, ever e-cigarette or cigarette users at baseline (vs. never users) had significantly higher odds of every past 30-day use tobacco use pattern at follow-up. Among HW participants, compared with never users, exclusive e-cigarette users at baseline had increased odds of continued e-cigarette use (ORexclusive e-cigarettes = 5.22; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.50, 7.79; ORdual use = 3.64; 95% CI: 1.62, 8.18) but not of transition to exclusive cigarette use at follow-up (ORexclusive cigarettes = 1.27; 95% CI: .47, 3.46), and HW exclusive cigarette users at baseline had greater odds of continued cigarette use (ORexclusive e-cigarettes = 12.3; 95% CI: 5.87, 25.8; ORdual use = 3.82; 95% CI: 1.06, 13.7) but not of transition to exclusive e-cigarette use at follow-up (ORexclusive cigarettes = 1.61; 95% CI: .62, 4.18).

Conclusions: Findings that NHW youth report more transitional use patterns and HW youth report more stable use patterns suggest a potential for differential impacts of e-cigarettes, by ethnicity, in increasing subsequent transition to or cessation from cigarette smoking.

Keywords: Adolescents; Cigarette; E-cigarette; Ethnicity; Tobacco use; Transitions.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / ethnology*
  • Cigarette Smoking / ethnology*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vaping / ethnology*
  • Young Adult