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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Jul 1;188:334-340. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.04.014. Epub 2018 May 19.

Initiation of vaporizing cannabis: Individual and social network predictors in a longitudinal study of young adults.

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Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, 121 S. Main St., Providence, RI 02903, USA. Electronic address:
Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, 121 S. Main St., Providence, RI 02903, USA.



A trend has recently emerged of individuals using electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) or similar devices to vaporize cannabis, either in the form of high-potency THC concentrates or cannabis plant material. Peer use is central to the adoption of substance use behaviors in young adulthood, but little is known about peer influence for initiating cannabis vaping.


A longitudinal investigation of first-year college students (N = 1313) using social network methods was conducted to determine the prevalence of vaping cannabis, differences in networks between individuals who initiate vaping cannabis, and predictors of initiation of vaping cannabis across two time points. The surveys were available for two weeks beginning in the sixth week of each semester.


We found that 9.4% vaped in their lifetime but not since the first survey, 7.5% vaped in their lifetime and since the first survey, and 5.9% reported vaping cannabis at the second survey. Lifetime cannabis use, lifetime ENDS use, and number of peers who initiated vaping cannabis from Time 1 to Time 2 were significantly associated with increased odds of the initiation of vaping cannabis; the number of any-cannabis-using or any-ENDS-using peers was not associated with increased odds of initiating vaping cannabis.


Individuals with the greatest risk of initiation of vaping cannabis during the first year of college are those with a prior history of other cannabis use and ENDS use and who have peers in their network who initiate cannabis vaping.


Cannabis; ENDS; Peer networks; Vaping; Young adults

[Available on 2019-07-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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