Latent Classes of Tobacco and Cannabis Use among Youth and Young Adults in the United States

Subst Use Misuse. 2023;58(10):1235-1245. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2023.2215312. Epub 2023 Jun 1.


Background: Research characterizing patterns of tobacco and cannabis use by product type and route of administration among youth and young adults (YAs) is limited. Methods: We conducted latent class analysis of tobacco and cannabis use (i.e., cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), cigars, blunts, cannabis vaping, and other cannabis use (without blunting/vaping)) among youth (ages 15-17) and YAs (ages 18-24) who used at least one product in the past 30 days, using data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study (Wave 4, 2016-2017). We used multinomial logistic regression models to examine associations between sociodemographic characteristics and use classes. Results: The latent use classes for youth included cigarettes (2.5%), ENDS (2.6%), blunts (2.5%), other cannabis (6.3%), ENDS + cannabis vaping (2.7%), and cigarettes + cigars + other cannabis (1.5%), while the latent use classes for YAs included cigarettes (11.7%), ENDS (3.9%), blunts (5.3%), other cannabis (7.0%), cigarettes + cigars (8.2%), and cigarettes + ENDS + cannabis vaping (4.9%). We compared use classes to never/former use for youth (82.0%) and YAs (59.0%) and found that they differed by each sociodemographic characteristic. For example, non-Hispanic Black YAs had higher odds of cigarettes + cigar use compared to non-Hispanic White YAs, whereas racial/ethnic minority youth and YAs had lower odds of other dual/poly use groups compared to their non-Hispanic White counterparts. Conclusions: We observed differences in use classes by sociodemographic characteristics for youth and YAs. Health professionals must consider tobacco and cannabis use patterns when implementing prevention and cessation interventions.

Keywords: blunting; cannabis; cigar; cigarette; disparities; e-cigarette; epidemiology; tobacco; vaping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cannabis*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Ethnicity
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups
  • Tobacco Products*
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult