Home > Assessment of nicotine and cannabis vaping and respiratory symptoms in young adults.

Braymiller, Jessica L and Barrington-Trimis, Jessica L and Leventhal, Adam M and Islam, Talat and Kechter, Afton and Krueger, Evan A and Cho, Junhan and Lanza, Isabella and Unger, Jennifer B and McConnell, Rob (2020) Assessment of nicotine and cannabis vaping and respiratory symptoms in young adults. JAMA Network Open, 3, (12), e2030189. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.30189.

External website: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/f...

Importance: Rates of e-cigarette use (ie, nicotine vaping) and cannabis vaping continue to increase among youth and young adults. However, the association of nicotine and cannabis vaping with independent respiratory health outcomes has not been well studied.

Objective: To investigate associations of nicotine and cannabis vaping with bronchitic symptoms, wheeze, and shortness of breath.

Design, Setting, and Participants: Cross-sectional survey data on self-reported lifetime, 6-month, and 30-day vaping from 2553 young adults recruited from high schools in Southern California were collected from June 2018 to October 2019. Of these participants, 94% provided data for shortness of breath and wheeze, and 86% provided data for chronic bronchitis.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Self-reported nicotine and cannabis vaping were measured on a Likert-type scale using the following responses: (1) never used, (2) lifetime but no past 6-month use, (3) past 6-month use but no use in the past 30 days, (4) use on 1 or 2 of the past 30 days, and (5) use on 3 or more of the past 30 days. Three respiratory health outcomes were assessed separately on the basis of self-reported symptoms: bronchitic symptoms in the previous 12 months (ie, daily cough for 3 months in a row, congestion or phlegm other than with a cold, and/or bronchitis), wheeze in the previous 12 months, and shortness of breath when hurrying on level ground or walking up a slight hill.

Results: Of 2553 participants in the analytic sample (mean [SD] age, 19.3 [0.79] years; 1477 [57.9%] female individuals), 1095 of 2553 young adults (42.9%) reported vaping nicotine and 939 of 2553 (38.4%) reported vaping cannabis. Compared with those who never vaped cannabis, individuals who vaped cannabis in their lifetime but not in the past 60 months (204 of 2553 [8.4%]; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.83 [95% CI, 1.08-3.10]), in the past 6 months but not in the last 30 days (490 of 2443 [20.1%]; aOR, 1.58 [95% CI, 1.02-2.46]), 1-2 days in the past 30 days (90 of 2443 [3.7%]; aOR, 2.83 [95% CI, 1.46-5.50]), and 3 or more days in the past 30 days (155 of 2443 [6.3%]; aOR, 2.14 [95% CI, 1.16-3.92]) had significantly higher odds of chronic bronchitic symptoms after adjusting for nicotine vaping, cigarette smoking, cannabis smoking, and sociodemographic characteristics. Cannabis vaping 3 or more times in the last 30 days was also associated with increased odds of wheeze (aOR, 2.27 [95% CI, 1.17-4.37]). Associations of cannabis vaping with shortness of breath and nicotine vaping with any respiratory health outcome were not statistically significant in fully adjusted models.

Conclusions and Relevance: Findings of this cross-sectional study suggest that cannabis vaping is associated with increased risk of bronchitic symptoms and wheeze in young adults. Further research is needed to understand the temporality of the association and the mechanisms underlying the difference between nicotine and cannabis vaping in the risk of bronchitic symptoms and wheeze.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Cannabis, Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
1 December 2020
Identification #
doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.30189
Page Range

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