Psychosocial predictors of longitudinal changes in tobacco and cannabis use among young adults

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Addictive Behaviors






Cannabis use; Latent growth modeling; Risk factors; Tobacco use; Young adults


Introduction: In recent years, cigarette use has decreased, but alternative tobacco product and cannabis use has increased in young adults. Thus, research regarding intraindividual changes in tobacco product and cannabis use in this population, and related psychosocial predictors, is warranted. Methods: We analyzed data from 3,006 young adults (Mage = 24.56 [SD = 4.72], 54.8% female, 31.6% sexual minority, 60.2% racial/ethnic minority) in a 2-year, 5-wave longitudinal study (2018–2020). Latent growth modeling analyzed the outcomes of past 6-month use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, traditional cigars, little cigars/cigarillos, smokeless tobacco (SLT), hookah, and cannabis across Waves 1–5 among all participants; psychosocial predictors included depressive symptoms, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and personality traits. Results: Results indicated decreases in likelihood of using each tobacco product over time, but no significant change in likelihood of cannabis use. Psychosocial predictors of baseline use across products included depressive symptoms and extraversion, as well as ACEs and openness for nearly all products (e.g., except traditional cigars). Psychosocial predictors of less decreases in use likelihood over time included: for cigarettes and traditional cigars, ACEs; for e-cigarettes, extraversion; for little cigars/cigarillos, depressive symptoms and extraversion; for SLT, openness; and for hookah, neuroticism (controlling for sociodemographics). Predictors of greater decreases in likelihood of use over time included: for e-cigarettes and hookah, conscientiousness; and for cannabis, agreeableness. Conclusions: Interventions to reduce young adults’ use might target distinct risk/protective factors for using different products (and combinations). Moreover, results regarding decreasing likelihood of using tobacco products but not cannabis over time warrant replication and explanation in other samples.