Cannabis use trajectories among Swiss adolescents

TitleCannabis use trajectories among Swiss adolescents
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSurís, J-C, Akré, C, E. Richard, B, Michaud, P-A, Berchtold, A
Conference NameAnnual meeting of the Swiss Society for Pediatrics, St.Gall (Switzerland), June 18/20, 2009
ISBN Number1424-7860
Accession Numberserval:BIB_7D37FC0E198A
KeywordsAdolescent, Marijuana Smoking, Smoking, Switzerland

Introduction: Swiss data indicate that one fifth of current 16-20 yearold cannabis users do not use tobacco and seem to do better than those smoking both substances. The aim of this research is to assess the substance use trajectories of cannabis users who do not use tobacco and those who use both substances from age 17 to age 23.
Methods: Using data from the TREE longitudinal data base, 328 out of 1796 youth 18.3%; 45% females) who smoked cannabis only (Group CAN; N = 46; 36% females) or concurrently with tobacco (Group CANTAB; N = 284; 46% females) at T1 (2001; age 17) were followed at T4 (2004; age 20) and T7 (2007; age 23). Two additional outcome groups were included at T4 and T7: those using only tobacco (Group TOB) and those not using any of these substances (Group NONE). Data were analyzed separately by gender.
Results: Females in group CAN at T1 were as likely to be in group TOB (35%) or NONE (35%) at T4 and the percentages increased to 41% and 47%, respectively, at T7. Males in group CAN at T1 were more likely to be in group TOB at T4 (33%) and T7 (61%) than in group NONE (23% and 15%, respectively). Females in group CANTOB at T1 were mainly in group TOB at T4 (52%) and T7 (61%), while males in CANTOB at T1 remained mainly in the same group at T4 (75%) and T7 (61%). Only 10% of females and 5% of males in group CANTOB at T1 were in group NONE at T4 and 15% and 12%, respectively, at T7.
Conclusions: Adolescents using only cannabis are globally less likely to continue using cannabis in young adulthood than those using both substances, although a fair percentage (specially males) switch to tobacco use. This result confirms previous research indicating that nicotine dependence and persistent cigarette smoking may be the main public health consequences of cannabis use. A gender difference arises among those using tobacco and cannabis at age 17: while females become mainly tobacco smokers, the majority of males continue to use both substances. Although these results could be explained by a substitution effect, teenagers using both substances seem to have gone beyond the experimentation phase and should be a motive for concern.




Citation Key / SERVAL ID4081


Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine
Route de la Corniche 10, 1010 Lausanne - Switzerland
+41 21 314 72 72 |

Go to top