Although studies have identified an increased likelihood of marijuana and tobacco co-use among African Americans as compared to other racial groups, few studies have specifically examined the prevalence and substance use characteristics of co-users among African Americans in a national survey.
The current secondary analysis examined the prevalence rates and substance use characteristics (e.g., marijuana dependence) of 2024 African American past month marijuana and tobacco users and co-users participating in the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Findings revealed that 18.5%, 53.8% and 27.7% of African Americans smoked marijuana only, tobacco only and marijuana and tobacco in the past 30 days, respectively. Relative to participants who smoked marijuana only, African Americans who smoked marijuana and tobacco were more likely to be marijuana dependent in the past year and report more days of marijuana use in the past month. Further, relative to participants who smoked tobacco only, African Americans who smoked marijuana and tobacco were less likely to be dependent on nicotine, reported fewer days of cigarette use in the past month, and began smoking cigarettes, cigars and marijuana at a younger age, but were more likely to be marijuana dependent in the past year and reported more days of cigar use in the past month.
Marijuana and tobacco co-use is a significant public health problem, especially among African Americans. Additional research on effective prevention and treatment interventions for African Americans who smoke marijuana and tobacco is warranted.