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Study finds college student polytobacco users as likely as cigarette-only users to intend to quit smoking

A new study examined the association of intention to quit smoking cigarettes (ITQS) with polytobacco use status, controlling for tobacco product use frequency and cigarettes per day (CPD). Data was collected from a larger study conducted at a large public university in the Southeastern U.S. and included a sample of current cigarette smokers (n = 133). Participants completed an online survey, which included a series of questions related to demographic and personal characteristics, current cigarette and polytobacco use, frequency of tobacco product use and cigarette smoking intensity, and intention to quit smoking. The authors used descriptive analyses, bivariate analysis of ITQS using chi-square tests and Fisher’s test as well as logistic regression to assess predictors of intention to quit smoking cigarettes. Results showed that more than 54.9% of participants reported that they intended to quit smoking within the next 6 months. Furthermore, 44.4% reported using at least one form of tobacco in addition to cigarettes. Approximately 33.1% used at least one form of tobacco product 1 to 9 days per month; 32.3% used at least one form of tobacco product 10 to 29 days per month; and 34.6% used at least one form of tobacco product daily. Sex, academic status, frequency of tobacco product use and smoking intensity were found to be significant predictors of intention to quit smoking cigarettes (p = .002). However, intention to quit smoking was not predicted or related to polytobacco use status. In addition, undergraduate participants were 214% more likely to intend to quit than graduate participants (p = .029). Daily tobacco users were 399% more likely to indicate intention to quit smoking cigarettes (p = .004), and those who used 10 to 29 days in the last month were 247% more likely to intend to quit (p = .011) in comparison with those who used tobacco product(s) on 1 to 9 days in the last month. Moreover, higher intensity smokers (more than 10 CPD) were 71% less likely than lower intensity smokers (less than 10 CPD) to report intention to quit smoking cigarettes (p = .025).

Take away: Participants who were polytobacco users were as likely as cigarette-only users to intend to quit smoking cigarettes. Those who indicated the highest likelihood to intend to quit smoking were lower intensity smokers who used tobacco frequently.

Butler, K. M., Ickes, M. J., Rayens, M. K., Wiggins, A. T., Ashford, K., & Hahn, E. J. (2018). Intention to quit smoking and polytobacco use among college student smokers. Preventive Medicine Reports.

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