Increased nicotine vaping due to the COVID-19 pandemic among US young adults: Associations with nicotine dependence, vaping frequency, and reasons for use

Michael J. Parks, Nancy L. Fleischer, Megan E. Patrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has not examined increased vaping because of the pandemic using a national sample of young adults (YAs), which is a critical gap because pandemic-related increases in vaping among YAs could have important implications for nicotine dependence, prolonged regular use, and using substances to cope with stress. We examined self-reported increased vaping attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic among YAs, and its associations with outcomes that have important implications for future nicotine use. Data came from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) Vaping Supplement. Participants were selected from a nationally representative sample of US 12th-graders who were surveyed at age 19 in fall 2020 (N = 1244). Cross-sectional analyses of the 2020 survey included YAs who vaped nicotine in the past year (35%; N = 440). Weighted descriptive analyses and logistic regression models examined self-reported pandemic-related increased vaping (vs. decreased vaping, or no change), and its associations with current nicotine dependence, vaping behavior, and reasons for vaping. Among YAs who vaped nicotine in the past year, 16.8% reported increased and 44.4% reported decreased vaping due to the pandemic, while 38.9% reported no change. Increased vaping (vs. decreased and/or no change) was significantly associated with nicotine dependence symptoms, current regular nicotine vaping, and vaping to relax, get high, and because of boredom. Self-reported increased vaping because of the pandemic was associated with increased risk for current nicotine dependence and frequent use. Increased vaping may have been a form of coping with pandemic-related stressors, which increases risk for future substance use problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107059
JournalPreventive medicine
Volume159
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection and manuscript preparation were supported by research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse ( R01DA001411 and R01DA016575 ). The study sponsors had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing of the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the study sponsor. This research was also supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) under Award Number U54CA229974. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the Food and Drug Administration.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

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