AIMS: To determine the degree to which cigarette smoking predicts levels of cannabis dependence above and beyond cannabis use itself, concurrently and in an exploratory four-year follow-up, and to investigate whether cigarette smoking mediates the relationship between cannabis use and cannabis dependence.
METHODS: The study was cross sectional with an exploratory follow-up in the participants' own homes or via telephone interviews in the United Kingdom. Participants were 298 cannabis and tobacco users aged between 16 and 23; follow-up consisted of 65 cannabis and tobacco users. The primary outcome variable was cannabis dependence as measured by the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS). Cannabis and tobacco smoking were assessed through a self-reported drug history.
RESULTS: Regression analyses at baseline showed cigarette smoking (frequency of cigarette smoking: B=0.029, 95% CI=0.01, 0.05; years of cigarette smoking: B=0.159, 95% CI=0.05, 0.27) accounted for 29% of the variance in cannabis dependence when controlling for frequency of cannabis use. At follow-up, only baseline cannabis dependence predicted follow-up cannabis dependence (B=0.274, 95% CI=0.05, 0.53). At baseline, cigarette smoking mediated the relationship between frequency of cannabis use and dependence (B=0.0168, 95% CI=0.008, 0.288) even when controlling for possible confounding variables (B=0.0153, 95% CI=0.007, 0.027).
CONCLUSIONS: Cigarette smoking is related to concurrent cannabis dependence independently of cannabis use frequency. Cigarette smoking also mediates the relationship between cannabis use and cannabis dependence suggesting tobacco is a partial driver of cannabis dependence in young people who use cannabis and tobacco.
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Follow-Up Studies
- Longitudinal Studies
- Marijuana Abuse/diagnosis
- United Kingdom/epidemiology
- Young Adult