Cigarette smoking among marijuana users in the United States

Kimber P. Richter, Harsohena Kaur, Ken Resnicow, Niaman Nazir, Michael C. Mosier, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The vast majority of drug users smoke cigarettes. Most use marijuana and no other illicit drug. We analyzed adult responses to the 1997 NHSDA (n = 16,661) to explore relationships between marijuana use and cigarette smoking. Multivariate analyses controlled for other illicit drug use and other potential covariates. Nearly three-quarters of current marijuana users (74%) smoked cigarettes. Compared to nonusers, the adjusted odds of being a smoker were 5.43 for current marijuana users, 3.58 for past year marijuana users, and 2.02 for former marijuana users. Odds for cigarette smoking among current poly-drug users, compared to nonusers, were 2.3 to 1. Level of cigarette smoking was directly associated with frequency of marijuana use. Nationwide, an estimated 7 million adults smoke both substances and are at increased risk for respiratory illnesses and mortality. Cigarette smoking is a major co-morbidity of marijuana use and smoking cessation should be addressed among marijuana users in addition to their other illicit drug involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thanks to Edward Ellerbeck, MD, MPH who recommended these analyses and reviewed several iterations of data. This study was supported by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (6 T26 STO8354), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (K01 DA00450), and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar Award (032686). A limited portion of the results were presented at the 2002 Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.


  • Cannabis
  • Epidemiology
  • Marijuana
  • Tobacco
  • Treatment


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