HealthDay News — First use of a flavored tobacco product is associated with increased risk for subsequent tobacco use, according to a study published online Oct. 23 in JAMA Network Open.

Andrea C. Villanti, PhD, MPH, from the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Truth Initiative in Washington, DC, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal analysis of data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study to examine the prevalence of first use of flavored tobacco products among new tobacco users. Data were obtained for 11,996 youth and 26,447 adults at wave 1 (2013 to 2014) and wave 2 (2014 to 2015).

The researchers found that most youth and young adults (71.9 and 57.6%, respectively) who were new users of tobacco products used flavored products. Compared with first use of a nonflavored cigarette, first use of a menthol, mint, or other flavored cigarette documented at wave 1 was positively associated with past 12-month and 30-day cigarette use in all age groups at wave 2. Among young adults and adults aged 25 years and older, compared with first nonflavored use, first use of flavored electronic cigarettes, any cigars, cigarillos, filtered cigars, hookah, and any smokeless tobacco was prospectively associated with current regular use of these products at wave 2.

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“Additional longitudinal studies will allow for a better understanding of the role of flavors in tobacco use progression and trajectories over time,” the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to Westat; a second author received grant funding from Pfizer.

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