Disparities in Transitions From E-cigarette Use to Other Tobacco Use Patterns Among Sexual Minority Versus Heterosexual Women and Men in the United States

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Substance use & addiction journal




e-cigarette use; sexual and gender minorities; tobacco use; young adult


INTRODUCTION: Despite elevated rates of e-cigarette use among sexual minority versus heterosexual young adults, limited research has examined sexual identity in relation to transitions from e-cigarette use to other tobacco use patterns. METHODS: We analyzed data from 608 US young adults in a 2-year study (2018-2020) who reported using e-cigarettes in the past 6 months (time period between assessments) but no other tobacco product at baseline (Fall 2018). Multinomial logistic regressions among women and men, separately, examined associations between sexual identity and past 6-month tobacco use in Fall 2020 (nonuse [referent group] vs e-cigarette only, other tobacco product only, e-cigarette and other tobacco product dual use), controlling for age and race/ethnicity. RESULTS: Among women (n = 340; mean [] = 23.42; n = 147 [43.4%] sexual minority; 29.4% racial/ethnic minority), 34.4% reported nonuse at follow-up, 26.8% e-cigarette only, 10.3% other tobacco product only, and 28.5% e-cigarette and other tobacco product dual use. Sexual minority (vs heterosexual) women displayed greater odds of e-cigarette-only use, as well as dual use relative to nonuse at follow-up. Among men (n = 244;  = 24.30; n = 51 [20.9%] sexual minority; 36.1% racial/ethnic minority), 25.4% reported no use, 20.9% e-cigarette only, 17.2% other tobacco product only, and 36.5% dual use at follow-up. Sexual minority (vs heterosexual) men displayed lower odds of e-cigarette only, other tobacco product only, and dual use relative to nonuse at follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Research is needed to assess and intervene on tobacco/nicotine product perceptions (eg, harm, social acceptability) and reasons for use (eg, mood regulation) associated with high-risk tobacco use patterns and trajectories, particularly among sexual minority young adult women who may have distinct profiles and risks associated with use.


Prevention and Community Health