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Medical Marijuana Legalization and Co-use in Adult Cigarette Smokers

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Objectives: We examined effects of long-term medical marijuana legalization on cigarette co-use in a sample of adults. Methods: We conducted secondary analysis using data from the 2014 US Tobacco Attitudes and Beliefs Survey, which consisted of cigarette smokers, aged ≥ 45 years (N = 506). Participants were categorized by their state residence, where medical marijuana was (1) illegal, (2) legalized < 10 years, and (3) legalized ≥ 10 years. The Web-based survey assessed participants' marijuana use, beliefs and attitudes on marijuana, and nicotine dependence using Fagerstrom Tolerance for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) and Hooked on Nicotine Checklist (HONC) scores. Results: In cigarette smokers aged ≥ 45 years, long-term legalization of medical marijuana was associated with stable positive increases in marijuana use prevalence (ever in a lifetime) (p = .005) and frequency (number of days in past 30 days) (unadjusted p = .005; adjusted p = .08). Those who reported marijuana co-use had greater FTND and HONC scores after adjusting for covariates (p = .05). Conclusions: These preliminary findings warrant further examination of the potential impact of long-term legalization of medical marijuana on greater cigarette and marijuana co-use in adults and higher nicotine dependence among co-users at the population level.
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Keywords: CIGARETTE AND MARIJUANA CO-USE; MARIJUANA POLICY; MARIJUANA USE; NICOTINE DEPENDENCE; PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY; TOBACCO CONTROL

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA;, Email: [email protected] 2: Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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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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