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Multiple tobacco product use among cigarette smokers: a longitudinal examination of menthol and non-menthol smokers during young adulthood

Abstract

Background Multiple tobacco product (MTP) use is common among young adults. Most MTP users are combustible cigarette smokers that use one or more other tobacco products. This study aims to explore menthol as a risk factor for MTP use among a cohort of young adult cigarette smokers.

Methods Participants were 18–29 years cigarette smokers at 24 Texas colleges in a 6-wave study. Participants (n=4700 observations) were classified as: single product users (ie, exclusive cigarette smoking); dual product users and poly product users. A multilevel, ordered logistic regression model was used to examine the association between menthol cigarette smoking and MTP use. Two longitudinal, multilevel, multinomial logistic regressions were used to examine the relationship between menthol cigarette smoking and number of tobacco products used.

Results Overall, 40.7% of the sample were single product users, 33.7% were dual product users and 25.6% were poly product users. Menthol was associated with 1.28 greater odds of MTP use. Further, menthol was associated with 1.19 greater risk of dual and 1.40 greater risk of poly product use, relative to single product use. Lastly, menthol cigarette smoking was associated with 1.18 greater risk of poly product use, relative to dual product use.

Conclusions There was a gradient relationship between menthol cigarette smoking and number of tobacco products used among young adult cigarette smokers. Findings provide for greater regulatory and programmatic efforts to reduce the use of menthol cigarettes.

  • public policy
  • priority/special populations
  • non-cigarette tobacco products

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