Frequency of adolescent cannabis smoking and vaping in the United States: Trends, disparities and concurrent substance use, 2017-19

Addiction. 2022 May 19. doi: 10.1111/add.15912. Online ahead of print.


Aim: To quantify the trends in frequent and occasional cannabis vaping, demographic differences and concurrent nicotine and alcohol use.

Design: Observational study. Survey-weighted multinomial logistic regression models assessed trends and disparities in past 30-day cannabis use. Trends were assessed overall and by sex, race/ethnicity, parental education and urbanicity. Multinomial logistic regression models also estimated associations of cannabis use (none, use without vaping, use with vaping) with past 2-week binge drinking and past 30-day nicotine/tobacco use.

Setting: United States, 2017-19.

Participants: Participants in the national Monitoring the Future (n = 51 052) survey.

Measurements: Past 30-day frequent cannabis use (six or more times/30 days) and past 30-day occasional use (one to five times/30 days), with and without vaping.

Findings: Past 30-day frequent cannabis use with vaping and occasional use with vaping rose from 2017 to 2019. Past 30-day frequent and occasional cannabis use without vaping declined. Certain groups, such as Hispanic/Latino or lower socio-economic status adolescents, experienced particularly notable increases in frequent cannabis use with vaping (e.g. prevalence among Hispanic/Latino adolescents). Adolescents who reported smoking and vaping nicotine, and 10+ occasions of binge drinking, were 42.28 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 33.14-53.93] and 10.09 (95% CI = 4.51-22.53) times more likely to report past 30-day cannabis use with vaping, respectively, compared with no use.

Discussion: Cannabis use without vaping appears to be declining among adolescents in the United States, while cannabis use with vaping is accelerating; frequent cannabis vaping is especially increasing, with consistent increases across almost all adolescent demographic groups. Cannabis use among US adolescents remains highly associated with other substance use.

Keywords: Alcohol; cannabis; concurrent use; disparities; nicotine; trends; vaping.