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NOT PEER REVIEWED
Regarding the first two questions, the analyses were based on the public use data from both the PATH Study and the MCS, with links to their archives, and the PATH study sample was drawn from the original cohort, the replenishment cohort, and the shadow cohorts (see 1st and 2nd paragraphs of Methods Section). Regarding the remaining questions, please note that our stated goal was to make the MCS and PATH analytical samples as comparable as possible when testing our hypotheses using both cohorts (3rd paragraph of Methods section). As we note in the limitations section (5th paragraph of Discussion section), the MCS had relatively limited items on e-cigarette use and tobacco smoking compared to PATH. The MCS did not assess other combustible tobacco product consumption in early adolescence, nor did MCS measure the sequencing of early adolescent tobacco and e-cigarette use (noted in the limitation section). Also, MCS youth answered survey questions about ever using e-cigarettes from 2015 to 2016 (3rd paragraph of Methods section), which gave us limited variability to test for a wave x e-cigarette interaction in both datasets.
I respectfully request answers to the following questions:
1. Was public use or restricted PATH data used. This is important, since Table 2 contains a cell, n=7, that is not generally approved by NAHDAP.
2. Was the PATH cohort drawn from Waves 1 and 4, with follow-ups to age 17 years as needed from the other waves?
3. There were significant differences in youth smoking-vaping between Wave 1 (2013-14) and Wave 4 (2016-18) that might have affected the results. Was each wave analyzed separately as well as together?
4. The analysis included a variable relating to “parent(s) smoking of cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.” Did the analysis include other combustible tobacco product consumption by the subjects themselves?
5. Did the authors account for age at first smoking or vaping (public use, < 12 years and 12-14 years) or which product(s) had been used first?