Tobacco and Nicotine

Page last updated June 11, 2020 by Doug McVay, Editor/Senior Policy Analyst.

6. Probability of Transition From First Use to Dependence For Various Substances

"In a large, nationally representative sample of US adults, the cumulative probability of transition to dependence was highest for nicotine users, followed by cocaine users, alcohol users and, lastly, cannabis users. The transition to cannabis or cocaine dependence occurred faster than the transition to nicotine or alcohol dependence. Furthermore, there were important variations in the probability of becoming dependent across the different racial-ethnic groups. Most predictors of transition were common across substances.

"Consistent with previous estimates from the National Comorbidity Survey (Wagner and Anthony, 2002a), the cumulative probability of transition from use to dependence a decade after use onset was 14.8% among cocaine users, 11.0% among alcohol users, and 5.9% among cannabis users. This probability was 15.6% among nicotine users. Furthermore, lifetime cumulative probability estimates indicated that 67.5% of nicotine users, 22.7% of alcohol users, 20.9% of cocaine users, and 8.9% of cannabis users would become dependent at some time in their life."

Catalina Lopez-Quintero, et al., "Probability and Predictors of Transition From First Use to Dependence on Nicotine, Alcohol, Cannabis, and Cocaione: Results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC)," Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2011 May 1; 115(1-2): 120-130. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.11.004
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...

7. Association of Tobacco Use with Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use

"• Use of illicit drugs and alcohol was more common among current cigarette smokers than among nonsmokers in 2012, as in previous years since 2002. Among persons aged 12 or older, 23.0 percent of past month cigarette smokers reported current use of an illicit drug compared with 5.2 percent of persons who were not current cigarette smokers. Among youths aged 12 to 17 who smoked cigarettes in the past month, 54.6 percent also used an illicit drug compared with 6.4 percent of youths who did not smoke cigarettes.
"• Past month alcohol use was reported by 65.4 percent of current cigarette smokers compared with 48.3 percent of those who did not use cigarettes in the past month. This association also was found for binge alcohol use (43.6 percent of current cigarette smokers vs. 17.1 percent of current nonsmokers) and heavy alcohol use (15.8 vs. 3.9 percent, respectively)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013, p. 49.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

8. Global Tobacco-Related Mortality

"Tobacco use continues to be the leading global cause of preventable death. It kills nearly 6 million people and causes hundreds of billions of dollars of economic damage worldwide each year. Most of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and this disparity is expected to widen further over the next several decades. If current trends continue, by 2030 tobacco will kill more than 8 million people worldwide each year, with 80% of these premature deaths among people living in low- and middle-income countries. Over the course of the 21st century, tobacco use could kill a billion people or more unless urgent action is taken."

World Health Organization, "WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2011: Warning About the Dangers of Tobacco" (Geneva, Switzerland: WHO, 2011), p. 8.
http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publi...

9. Estimated Prevalence of Current Tobacco Use Among Pregnant Women in the US

"• The annual average rate of past month cigarette use in 2012 and 2013 among women aged 15 to 44 who were pregnant was 15.4 percent (Figure 4.5). The rate of current cigarette use among women aged 15 to 44 who were pregnant was lower than that among women who were not pregnant (24.0 percent). This pattern was also evident among women aged 18 to 25 (21.0 vs. 26.2 percent for pregnant and nonpregnant women, respectively) and among women aged 26 to 44 (11.8 vs. 25.4 percent, respectively). Rates of current cigarette use in 2012-2013 among pregnant women aged 15 to 44 were 19.9 percent in the first trimester, 13.4 percent in the second trimester, and 12.8 percent in the third trimester.
"• The annual average rates of current cigarette use among women aged 15 to 44 who were not pregnant decreased from 30.7 percent in 2002-2003 to 24.0 percent in 2012-2013 (Figure 4.5). However, the prevalence of cigarette use among pregnant women in this age range did not change significantly during the same time period (18.0 percent in 2002-2003 and 15.4 percent in 2012-2013)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 37.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

10. Tobacco Use and Young People

"Tobacco use is a global epidemic among young people. As with adults, it poses a serious health threat to youth and young adults in the United States and has significant implications for this nation’s public and economic health in the future (Perry et al. 1994; Kessler 1995). The impact of cigarette smoking and other tobacco use on chronic disease, which accounts for 75% of American spending on health care (Anderson 2010), is well-documented and undeniable. Although progress has been made since the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health in 1964 (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare [USDHEW] 1964), nearly one in four high school seniors is a current smoker. Most young smokers become adult smokers."

US Department of Health and Human Services. "Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General." Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012, p. 3.
http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/...

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