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Health Services Research & Development

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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Coughlin LN, Bonar EE, Bohnert KM, Jannausch M, Walton MA, Blow FC, Ilgen MA. Changes in urban and rural cigarette smoking and cannabis use from 2007 to 2017 in adults in the United States. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2019 Dec 1; 205:107699.
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Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Rural-urban differences in cigarette and cannabis use have traditionally shown higher levels of cigarette smoking in rural areas and of cannabis use in urban areas. To assess for changes in this pattern of use, we examined trends and prevalence of cigarette, cannabis, and co-use across urban-rural localities. METHODS: Urban-rural trends in current cigarette and/or cannabis use was evaluated using 11 cohorts (2007-2017) of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH; N? = 397,542). We used logistic regressions to model cigarette and cannabis use over time, adjusting for demographics (age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, education), in addition to assessing patterns of cannabis use among cigarette smokers and nonsmokers. RESULTS: Despite decreases in cigarette smoking overall, between 2007 and 2017, the urban-rural disparity in cigarette smoking increased (AOR? = 1.17), with less reduction in rural as compared to urban cigarette smokers. Cannabis use increased in general (AOR? = 1.88 by 2017), with greater odds in urban than rural regions. Cannabis use increased more rapidly in non-cigarette smokers than smokers (AOR? = 1.37 by 2017), with 219% greater odds of cannabis use in rural non-cigarette smokers in 2017 versus 2007. CONCLUSIONS: Rurality remains an important risk factor for cigarette smoking in adults and the fastest-growing group of cannabis users is rural non-cigarette smokers; however, cannabis use is currently still more prevalent in urban areas. Improved reach and access to empirically-supported prevention and treatment, especially in rural areas, along with dissemination and enforcement of policy-level regulations, may mitigate disparities in cigarette use and slow the increase in rural cannabis use.

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