Learning Objectives: compare the proportion of persons who discontinued (past month) using either cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants among ever users (at least once) who where regular users (101 days or more)
Abstract: Context. Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco produce dependence and nicotine is the chemical which causes dependence. In addition to understanding the causes and consequences of nicotine dependence, we need to understand the commonalities of nicotine dependence with other forms of drug dependence.
Objective. To compare the percentages of persons who discontinued (past month) using either cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, hallucinogens, or inhalants among ever users (at least once) who were regular users (³101 days).
Methods Design. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 1996-1998 (combined).
Participants. A nationally representative sample of persons aged 12 years or older who participated in the survey. A total of 68,274 subjects participated in the study.
Results. Among persons who have ever used and progressed to regular use and later on have discontinued use, the prevalence of discontinuance was lower for users of cigarettes (44.6%; 95% CI=±2.6) than for users of marijuana (67.7%; 95% CI=±3.9), cocaine (86.1%; 95% CI=±5.7), crack (82.7%; 95% CI=±9.5), heroin (85.5%; 95% CI=±13.9), hallucinogens (92.3%; 95% CI=±5.0), or inhalants (83.9%; 95% CI=±11.0). The overall patterns were similar in the three age groups (12-17, 18-25, and ³26 years of age), although discontinuance was higher for the age group ³26 years for each of these substances.
Discussion. We observed lower discontinuance of cigarette smoking than discontinuance of other substances that create dependency. Differences in the cost of, availability of, and social sanctions and controls applicable to each substance may account for some of the observed variability.
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