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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 133-139

Tobacco use topography and etiology: Similarities and differences among teens and emerging adults

Department of Preventive Medicine and Psychology and School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Steve Sussman
Department of Preventive Medicine and Psychology, and School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/hm.hm_53_19

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Tobacco regulatory science seeks in part to reduce harm of new tobacco products. Part of this interest is to help chronic adult smokers switch to potentially less harmful products, while not facilitating use of these modified risk tobacco products by nonusers (particularly teens). Studies to discern a lack of interest in reduced harm products are conducted on emerging adults as a proxy for teens. The present empirical review explores the topography and etiology of tobacco use among emerging adults compared to teens to discern whether they might be a reasonable proxy for such reduced harm studies. Both teens and emerging adults view combustible and e-cigarette smoking as disapproved of by peers and are likely to process tobacco marketing information similarly. I conclude that while some differences do exist (e.g., emerging adults are in a period of escalating use and dependence, whereas teens are relatively likely to be initiating use), emerging adults may indeed be a reasonable proxy, at least for current reduced harm studies.

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