Cigarettes, E-cigarettes, and Adolescents’ Oral Health: Findings from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study

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21 Scopus citations


Introduction: Adolescents are a population group that actively uses tobacco products; however, limited reports are available on the effects of tobacco products on adolescents’ oral health. Objectives: This study investigated associations between self-reported use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes on the oral health status of a representative sample of US adolescents. Methods: Data came from 13,650 adolescents aged 12 to 17 y who participated in the 2013–2014 wave of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study. Participants self-reported current use (i.e., past 30 d) and ever use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes, as well as past-year diagnoses with dental problems by a doctor, dentist, or other health professional (self-reported by parent or emancipated youth). Survey-adjusted logistic regression was used to estimate prevalence odds ratios (PORs) and 95% CIs. Results: The proportion of adolescents who self-reported current use of only cigarettes was 3.2%, while 1.7% reported current use of only e-cigarettes. Similarly, 1.4% reported current use of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, while 7.1% reported ever use of both. About 22% self-reported a provider diagnosis with dental problems in the past year. The covariate-adjusted associations between current cigarette and e-cigarette use on self-reported provider-diagnosed dental problems in the past year were, respectively, POR = 1.50 (95% CI, 1.18 to 1.90) and POR = 1.11 (95% CI, 0.79 to 1.55), while self-reported current use of both was associated with POR = 1.72 (95% CI, 1.24 to 2.38). Ever use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes was likewise associated with increased prevalence odds of self-reported past-year diagnosis with dental problems, although to a lesser magnitude. Conclusion: Findings suggest that dual use of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes is associated with poor oral health outcomes among adolescents. However, studies of a longitudinal nature are needed to confirm these findings. Knowledge Transfer Statement: The results of this study are relevant to public health and oral health practitioners seeking to intervene during developmental periods in which adolescents may have access to tobacco products in the home and in social settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-283
Number of pages8
JournalJDR Clinical and Translational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescent
  • epidemiology
  • public health
  • risk factors
  • smoking
  • vaping


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