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Correlates of Transitions in Tobacco Product Use by U.S. Adult Tobacco Users between 2013–2014 and 2014–2015: Findings from the PATH Study Wave 1 and Wave 2


More than half of adult tobacco users in the United States (U.S.) transitioned in tobacco product use between 2013⁻2014 and 2014⁻2015. We examine how characteristics of adult tobacco users in the U.S. relate to transitions in tobacco product use. Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study data were analyzed from 12,862 adult current tobacco users who participated in Wave 1 (W1, 2013⁻2014) and Wave 2 (W2, 2014⁻2015). Three types of transitions were examined-(1) adding tobacco product(s); (2) switching to non-cigarette tobacco product(s); and (3) discontinuing all tobacco use-among those currently using: (1) any tobacco product; (2) cigarettes only (i.e., exclusive cigarette); and (3) cigarettes plus another tobacco product(s) (i.e., poly-cigarette). Multinomial logistic regression analyses determined relative risk of type of transition versus no transition as a function of demographic and tobacco use characteristics. Transitions in tobacco product use among adult tobacco users were common overall, but varied among different demographic groups, including by age, sex, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and poverty level. Further, cigarette smokers with higher dependence scores were more likely to add product(s) and less likely to discontinue tobacco use compared to those with low dependence scores. That high nicotine dependence is a barrier to discontinuing tobacco use adds evidence to support policy to lower nicotine content of cigarettes and to evaluate new products for their potential to reduce cigarette use.

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