An ecological momentary assessment of cigarette and cigar dual use among African American Young Adults

Erin L. Mead, Julia Cen Chen, Thomas R. Kirchner, James Butler, Robert H. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction The dual use of cigarettes and cigars among African American young adults is a significant public health issue. Patterns of and reasons for dual use are difficult to capture using traditional self-report methods. This study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to characterize patterns of dual smoking and examine the personal and environmental predictors of cigarette and cigar smoking among African American young adult dual users (ages 18-29) in real-time. Methods For 14 days, 64 participants smoked ad libitum and were prompted four times daily to record their smoking, craving, emotions, social smoking, and environment via text message on their mobile phones. The odds of single product and dual use were examined using adjusted generalized estimating equations. Results Participants smoked an average of 7.9 cigarettes and 4.2 cigars per day. Cigarettes and cigars were smoked as frequently during periods of dual use as they were during periods of single product use. Cigarette craving was positively associated with cigarette-only smoking (OR: 1.07), whereas cigar craving was positively associated with cigar-only smoking (OR: 1.43) and dual use (OR: 1.08). Cigars had the greatest odds of dual use when with others (OR: 4.69) and in others' homes (OR: 4.33). Cigarettes had the greatest odds of being smoked while alone (OR: 1.57). Conclusions EMA was useful for capturing variable smoking patterns and predictors. In this study population, cigarettes and cigars appeared to be smoked additively, and cigars smoked socially. These findings can inform future interventions addressing dual use in this high priority population. Implications This is the first study to use EMA to examine naturalistic patterns and predictors of multiple tobacco use in real-time. African American young adults smoked cigarettes and cigars during periods of dual use as frequently as during periods of single product use. This suggests that most use was additive (one product smoked in addition to another) and less often as substitution (one product smoked instead of another). Social smoking and craving were strongly associated with cigar smoking in single and dual use periods. This study suggests the need for cessation messaging specifically targeted to reduce dual use in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S12-S21
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
StatePublished - Aug 14 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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