Recency of Cannabis Vaping in Sexual Minorities in Wave 5 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study

Subst Use Misuse. 2024;59(1):136-142. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2023.2262024. Epub 2023 Dec 1.


Background: Cannabis vaping is increasing in the United States. Among populations at-risk are sexual minorities (SM) who are more likely to vape cannabis compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Cannabis vaping has been associated with negative health outcomes and concomitant use of other substances with increased risk with more recent use.

Objectives: This study examined the association between SM identification and recency of cannabis vaping (the last occasion that a participant used their vape device with cannabis) and number of puffs (the count of puffs that the participant took during their most recent use of their vape device with cannabis) using Wave 5 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study.

Results: In a weighted sample of participants who reported ever vaping cannabis (N = 5,331), 15% identified as SM, about 60% vaped cannabis in the past 3 or more days, and the mean number of puffs was 2 (SE = 0.17). Using multinomial logistic regression and zero-inflated negative binomial regression, the results showed that compared to heterosexual adults who reported not recently vaping cannabis, SM had higher probabilities of vaping cannabis in the past 3 or more days, 1-2 days, and the day of interview.

Conclusion: SM individuals were more likely to recently vape cannabis, placing them at higher risk for respiratory diseases and use of other substances. Public health researchers and practitioners need to identify reasons for cannabis vaping in this population and implement targeted public health messaging to inform SM communities of the potential health effects of cannabis vaping.

Keywords: Cannabis vaping; THC; lGBTQ+; sexual minorities.