Did You Know: Nicotine Dependence Is Linked To Cannabis Use Disorder Symptoms In Youth


A recently published study examined if cigarette smoking and/or nicotine dependence predicts cannabis use disorder symptoms among adolescent and young adult cannabis users and whether the relationships differ based on frequency of cannabis use. Data were drawn from seven annual surveys of the NSDUH to include adolescents and young adults (age 12-21) who reported using cannabis at least once in the past 30 days (n = 21,928).


Findings included:

  • Over half of current cannabis users also smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days (55%).
  • Cigarette smoking in the past 30 days was associated with earlier onset of cannabis use, more frequent cannabis use and a larger number of cannabis use disorder symptoms compared to those who did not smoke cigarettes.
  • Nicotine dependence but not cigarette smoking quantity or frequency was positively and significantly associated with each of the cannabis use disorder symptoms, as well as the total number of cannabis symptoms.

The researchers concluded that prevention and treatment efforts should consider cigarette smoking comorbidity when addressing the increasing proportion of the US population that uses cannabis.


Source: Dierker et al. (2018). Nicotine dependence predicts cannabis use disorder symptoms among adolescents and young adults. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Apr 16;187:212-220. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.02.037. [Epub ahead of print]

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