To assess trends and behavioral patterns of marijuana and cigarette and/or cigar (ie, smoked tobacco) use among 18- to 22-year-old US young adults who were in or not in college.METHODS:
Data were from the 2002–2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Past-30-day and past-12-month use of marijuana and smoked tobacco were assessed by college enrollment status. 2 tests were used to examine within- and between-group differences. Trends were assessed by using logistic regression and relative percentage change (RPC).RESULTS:
Among both college and noncollege individuals during 2002 to 2016, exclusive marijuana use increased (faster increase among college students; RPC = 166.6 vs 133.7), whereas exclusive smoked tobacco use decreased (faster decrease among college students; RPC = –47.4 vs –43.2). In 2016, 51.6% of noncollege and 46.8% of college individuals reported past-12-month usage of marijuana and/or smoked tobacco products (P < .05). Exclusive marijuana use was higher among college than noncollege individuals, both for past-30-day (11.5% vs 8.6%) and past-12-month use (14.6% vs 10.8%). Exclusive smoked tobacco use was higher among noncollege than college individuals, both for past-30-day (17.7% vs 10.4%) and past-12-month (17.4% vs 12.2%) use (P < .05).CONCLUSIONS:
Exclusive marijuana use is increasing among young adults overall, whereas exclusive smoked tobacco use is decreasing: faster rates are seen among college students. Exclusive marijuana use is higher among college students, whereas exclusive smoked tobacco use is higher among noncollege individuals. Surveillance of tobacco and marijuana use among young people is important as the policy landscape for these products evolves.