Published March 12, 2015
College students who use tobacco products, marijuana and/or binge drink also are more likely to use electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, according to results of a survey conducted by researchers at UB and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). Results were published online ahead of print in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
“These notable results found that many college students use e-cigarettes as part of a mix of health-risk behaviors, including alcohol and marijuana,” says Martin Mahoney, professor of oncology in the Departments of Medicine and Health Behavior at Roswell Park, and professor in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior at UB. “E-cigarette use among young people is growing rapidly. We hope that this research will help to inform public health professionals as they consider policy decisions regarding these devices.”
Using a Web-based survey, researchers evaluated the use of e-cigarettes and other health-risk behaviors, such as tobacco use and patterns of alcohol and marijuana use, among 1,437 college students age 18-23 who attended four colleges/universities in upstate New York in 2013. Results showed:
Megan Saddleson, a doctoral student in the UB Department of Community Health and Health Behavior and the paper’s first author, notes that the awareness and popularity of e-cigarettes among college-aged students is a concern. “However,” she says, “given the results of this study, prevention efforts may be better targeted to all types of drug use, not just e-cigarettes alone.”