Concern over tobacco and marijuana perceptions and use among adolescents and young adults with cystic fibrosis

Addict Behav. 2023 Jul:142:107669. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2023.107669. Epub 2023 Feb 20.


Background: This study assesses use and perceptions of short- and long-term harms associated with cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and smoked marijuana among adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Methods: A total of 205 AYAs with CF completed an online survey querying about use, safety perceptions, and education related to traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), and smoked marijuana. In addition, parents of AYAs with CF and CF healthcare providers were asked questions about experiences in avoidance education.

Results: AYA participants with CF reported using tobacco and marijuana at rates lower than that of the general AYA population, with heavy use considerably lower in this population. AYAs with CF perceived lower risk of negative outcomes associated with using e-cigarettes and smoked marijuana compared to combustible cigarettes. Ever-use was correlated with a lower perception of risk across all products. CF providers estimated lower rates of product use in their own patients compared to both the general AYA CF population and the general AYA population, and estimated lower use among the general CF AYA population compared to the general AYA population. Receipt of avoidance education varied greatly when comparing AYAs with CF, parents of individuals with CF, and CF healthcare providers. Reasons for undereducation include but are not limited to lack of familiarity with products, assumption of avoidance, assumption of education, and time constraints.

Conclusions: Findings concerning safety perceptions and use of combustible tobacco, e-cigarettes, and marijuana in individuals with cystic fibrosis underscore the importance of providing avoidance education to vulnerable patient populations. Insight derived from this study may also inform pediatric to adult clinic transition education, when chronic disease populations are at greatest risk for engaging in risky behaviors.

Implications and contribution: We report data on use, risk perception, and education of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and cannabis in individuals with cystic fibrosis, with a focus on adolescents and young adults. Such Findings will inform prevention education, especially during the critical transition period from pediatric to adult care when these behaviors are prevalent.

Keywords: Cystic fibrosis; Electronic cigarettes; Risk perception; Tobacco.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cannabis*
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / epidemiology
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Tobacco Products* / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Use
  • Transition to Adult Care*
  • Young Adult