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Obesity and Cigarette Smoking: Extending the Link to E-cigarette/Vaping Use

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Objectives: In recent years, electronic tobacco (e-cigarette/vaping) use among young adults has grown exponentially. Given past research linking obesity and cigarette smoking, assessing whether this relationship extends to electronic tobacco use is warranted. The current study examined weight status as a correlate of substance use patterns reflecting electronic tobacco use. Methods: Survey data were collected from a convenience sample of 452 (59% female) undergraduates attending a large, public university during the 2015-2016 academic year. Latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to identify substance use classes and examine weight status as a covariate of class membership. Results: LCA analyses identified 4 classes: High Substance Use (19%), Risky Alcohol Use (14%), Cigarette/Electronic Tobacco Use (17%), and Low Substance Use (50%). Both obesity status and greater deviation from one's group body mass index (BMI) norm were associated with a higher likelihood of belonging to the Cigarette/Electronic Tobacco Use class. Conclusions: Findings suggest that electronic tobacco use may fit well into previously established relationships between higher weight status and tobacco use. Future research should examine the longitudinal processes and pathways underlying the relationship between weight status and electronic tobacco use.
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Keywords: BODY MASS INDEX; E-CIGARETTE; ELECTRONIC TOBACCO; OBESITY; VAPING; WEIGHT STATUS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Human Development, California State University, Long Beach, CA;, Email: [email protected] 2: Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Human Development, California State University, Long Beach, CA

Publication date: 2017-05-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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