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Introduction: Cigarette use is associated with substance use and mental health problems among youth, but as- sociations are unknown for non-cigarette tobacco product use, as well as the increasingly common poly-tobacco use.
Methods: The current study examined co-occurrence of substance use and mental health problems across tobacco products among 13,617 youth aged 12–17 years from Wave 1 (2013–2014) of the nationally representative Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Participants self-reported ever cigarette, e-cigar- ette, smokeless tobacco, traditional cigar, cigarillo, filtered cigar, hookah, and other tobacco product use; al- cohol, marijuana, and other drugs; and lifetime substance use, internalizing and externalizing problems. Results: In multivariable regression analyses, use of each tobacco product was associated with substance use, particularly cigarillos and marijuana (AOR=18.9, 95% CI: 15.3–23.4). Cigarette (AOR=14.7, 95% CI: 11.8–18.2) and cigarillo (AOR = 8.1, 95% CI: 6.3–10.3) use were strongly associated with substance use pro- blems and tobacco users were more likely to report internalizing (AOR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.4–1.8) and ex- ternalizing (AOR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.3–1.6) problems. Female tobacco users were more likely to have internalizing problems than male tobacco users. Poly-tobacco users were more likely than exclusive users to use substances (AOR = 3.4, 95% CI: 2.7–4.3) and have mental health (AOR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0–1.5) and substance use (AOR = 4.7, 95% CI: 3.4–6.6) problems.
Conclusions: Regardless of the tobacco product used, findings reveal high co-occurrence of substance use and mental health problems among youth tobacco users, especially poly-tobacco users. These findings suggest the need to address comorbidities among high risk youth in prevention and treatment settings.
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