Cannabis Use Among Adults in Cigarette Smoking Cessation Treatment in Ontario, Canada: Prevalence and Association With Tobacco Cessation Outcome, 2015–2021

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Objectives. To examine cannabis use prevalence and its association with tobacco cessation among adults enrolled in cigarette smoking cessation treatment before and after Canada legalized recreational cannabis in October 2018.

Methods. The sample comprised 83 206 adults enrolled in primary care–based cigarette smoking cessation treatment between 2015 and 2021 in Ontario, Canada. Past-30-day cannabis use was self-reported at enrollment and cigarette smoking abstinence at 6-month follow-up.

Results. Past-30-day prevalence of cannabis use increased from 20.2% in 2015 to 37.7% in 2021. The prevalence increased linearly both before and after legalization. Cannabis and tobacco co-use was associated with lower odds of self-reported cigarette smoking abstinence at 6-month follow-up than tobacco use only (24.4% vs 29.3%; odds ratio [OR] = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.75, 0.81). This association was attenuated after adjustment for covariates (OR = 0.93; 95% CI = 0.89, 0.97) and weakened slightly over time.

Conclusions. Cannabis use prevalence almost doubled from 2015 to 2021 among primary care patients in Ontario seeking treatment to quit cigarettes and was associated with poorer quit outcomes. Further research into the impact of cannabis policy on cannabis and tobacco co-use is warranted to mitigate harm. (Am J Public Health. 2024;114(1):98–107. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2023.307445)

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Sabrina Voci, PhD, Scott Veldhuizen, PhD, Anna Ivanova, MPH, Osnat C. Melamed, MD, MSc, Peter Selby, MBBS, MHSc, and Laurie Zawertailo, PhD Sabrina Voci, Scott Veldhuizen, and Anna Ivanova are with the INTREPID Lab, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Osnat C. Melamed is with the INTREPID Lab, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto. Peter Selby is with the INTREPID Lab, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Laurie Zawertailo is with the INTREPID Lab, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto. “Cannabis Use Among Adults in Cigarette Smoking Cessation Treatment in Ontario, Canada: Prevalence and Association With Tobacco Cessation Outcome, 2015–2021”, American Journal of Public Health 114, no. 1 (January 1, 2024): pp. 98-107.

https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2023.307445

PMID: 38091559