Is Adolescent E-Cigarette Use Associated With Subsequent Smoking? A New Look

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Prospective studies have consistently reported a strong association between e-cigarette use and subsequent cigarette smoking, but many failed to adjust for important risk factors. Methods: Using longitudinal data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, we employed multivariable logistic regressions to assess the adolescent vaping-to-smoking relationship, with four regressions (Models 1-4) sequentially adding more risk factors. Our sample included all waves (waves 1-5) of the PATH Study. Results: The association between ever e-cigarette use and subsequent cigarette smoking decreased substantially in magnitude when adding more control variables, including respondents' sociodemographic characteristics, exposure to tobacco users, cigarette susceptibility, and behavioral risk factors. Using the most recent data (waves 4-4.5 and waves 4.5-5), this association was not significant in the most complete model (Model 4). Using wave 4.5-5 data, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for ever e-cigarette use at initial wave and subsequent past 12-month smoking declined from 4.07 (95% confidence interval [CI, 2.86-5.81) in Model 1, adjusting only for sociodemographic characteristics, to 1.35 (95% CI, 0.84-2.16) in Model 4, adjusting for all potential risk factors. Similarly, the aOR of ever e-cigarette use and past 30-day smoking at wave 5 decreased from 3.26 (95% CI, 1.81-5.86) in Model 1 to 1.21 (95% CI, 0.59-2.48) with all covariates (Model 4). Conclusions: Among adolescent never cigarette smokers, those who had ever used e-cigarettes at baseline, compared with never e-cigarette users, exhibited modest or non-significant increases in subsequent past 12-month or past 30-day smoking when adjusting for behavioral risk factors.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sun R; Mendez D; Warner KE
  • Start Page

  • 710
  • End Page

  • 718
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 5