What does using tobacco and other substances together mean for young people?
Young adults have the highest rates of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drug use relative to any other age group.
An original study conducted by Amy Cohn, Ph.D., a research investigator at Truth Initiative®, reveals how alcohol and marijuana use among young adults are associated with many tobacco products, including cigarettes, little cigars/cigarillos, large cigars, hookah and e-cigarettes.
During a Truth Initiative webinar on June 15, Dr. Cohn presented her research and explained how mental illnesses, like anxiety and depression, are associated with cigarette smoking and tobacco use behavior in youth and young adults. Her research also showed that young adults who used menthol tobacco products in the past 30 days had higher rates of current depression and anxiety in the past two weeks.
Patterns of recent alcohol, marijuana and tobacco use among young adults, based on data collected in a population-based survey, showed that past-month use of alcohol only was the most common form of substance use in this age group, followed by past-month cigarette-only use. Young adults who used alcohol in the past 30 days with at least one other substance (cigarettes, marijuana or hookah, for example) were found to have high rates of mental health and substance use problems.
“Initiation and escalation of substance use usually begins during this time period, and because of that, it’s an ideal time to disseminate public health messages,” Cohn said.
Cohn also found that individuals who smoke blunts, a tobacco cigarillo that has been split and re-rolled with marijuana, are more likely to have mental health and substance use problems compared to those who do not smoke blunts.