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NAQC Newsroom: Research

A Comparison of Daily Versus Weekly Electronic Cigarette Users in Treatment for Substance Abuse.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Noah R. Gubner, PhD, Anna Pagano, PhD, Barbara Tajima, EdM, Joseph Guydish, PhD.
A Comparison of Daily Versus Weekly Electronic Cigarette Users in Treatment for Substance Abuse.
Nicotine Tob Res 2017 ntx116. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntx116
 
This research examined electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use by individuals in treatment for substance abuse, a population with a high prevalence of tobacco use and poor smoking cessation outcomes. We surveyed 1127 individuals from 24 substance abuse treatment centers across the United States. Bivariate analyses and logistic regression were used to examine factors associated with daily (N=87) versus weekly (N=81) e-cigarette use. Among the full sample, 59.8% reported any lifetime use of e-cigarettes, with 23.6% reporting past 30-day use. Daily e-cigarette users were more likely to have used 2nd generation tank-type e-cigarettes (Χ2(1, N=165)=11.54, p=0.001), used more flavors overall (t(168)=2.15, p=0.03), and were more likely to report using their e-cigarette continuously throughout the day (Χ2(4,N=168)=16.7, p=0.002) compared to weekly e-cigarette users. Over half (57.7%) of the daily and weekly e-cigarette users reported having an e-cigarette device that broke. The logistic regression model adjusting for clinic type and days with poor mental health found that daily e-cigarette users were significantly more likely than weekly e-cigarette users to be from methadone clinics (AOR=2.40, p=0.04), and former smokers (AOR=6.37, p<0.002). Daily e-cigarette users in substance abuse treatment were more likely to be from methadone clinics and former cigarette smokers. However, the majority of daily e-cigarette users were current cigarette smokers (73.6%). Substance abuse treatment programs should evaluate potential benefits versus potential harms when developing e-cigarette use policies. E-cigarette device type reliability (e.g. breakage) may be an important factor to consider among drug treatment and other populations with lower- socioeconomic status. We examined e-cigarette use among individuals in treatment for substance abuse, a population known to have high prevalence of cigarette smoking and poor smoking cessation outcomes. This study found several differences in the device type, flavors, and use characteristics of daily versus weekly e-cigarette users. While a majority of e-cigarette users in substance abuse treatment were current cigarette smokers, daily e-cigarette users were more likely to be former cigarette smokers. Administrators of substance abuse treatment programs should evaluate potential benefits and harms of e-cigarettes when developing program policies.


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