Background and Objectives
Intermittent, dual use of cigarettes and e‐cigarettes is a common pattern among youth and young adults. However, little is known about the validity of self‐report measures of nicotine consumption in these populations. The goal of the present study was to examine associations between self‐reported frequency of cigarette and e‐cigarette use and nicotine levels in hair samples at two assessments 1 year apart.
Participants (n = 90; 65% female) were 19‐ to 25‐year‐old intermittent cigarette smokers recruited from the community for a longitudinal study of tobacco use. They submitted hair samples via mail, 1 and 2 years after enrollment in the parent study.
Findings indicated that days of use of both cigarettes and e‐cigarettes in the past 30 days independently predicted hair nicotine in the full sample, and when examining only timepoints at which any cigarette use was reported. Timepoints when any e‐cigarette use was reported, hair nicotine was positively associated with e‐cigarette but not cigarette frequency.
Discussion and Conclusions
Data suggest that self‐report measures are valid methods of assessing intermittent use of both cigarettes and e‐cigarettes. Findings also suggest that dual users may tend to consume more nicotine and thus be at greater risk for dependence than single product users.
These results are among the first to indicate that hair analysis can be used to detect intermittent nicotine exposure via both cigarettes and e‐cigarettes. (Am J Addict 2020;29:471–475)