Introduction: Within tobacco prevention programming, it is useful to identify youth that are at risk for experimenting with various tobacco products and e-cigarettes.The susceptibility to smoking construct is a simple method to identify never-smoking students that are less committed to remaining smoke-free. However, the predictive validity of this construct has not been tested within the Canadian context or for the use of other tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Methods:This study used a large, longitudinal sample of secondary school students that reported never using tobacco cigarettes and noncurrent use of alternative tobacco products or e-cigarettes at baseline in Ontario, Canada. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the susceptibility construct for predicting tobacco cigarette, e-cigarette, cigarillo or little cigar, cigar, hookah, and smokeless tobacco use 1 and 2 years after baseline measurement were calculated. Results: At baseline, 29.4% of the sample was susceptible to future tobacco product or e-cigarette use.The sensitivity of the construct ranged from 43.2% (smokeless tobacco) to 59.5% (tobacco cigarettes), the specificity ranged from 70.9% (smokeless tobacco) to 75.9% (tobacco cigarettes), and the positive predictive value ranged from 2.6% (smokeless tobacco) to 32.2% (tobacco cigarettes). Similar values were calculated for each measure of the susceptibility construct. Conclusions: A significant number of youth that did not currently use tobacco products or e-cigarettes at baseline reported using tobacco products and e-cigarettes over a 2-year follow-up period. The predictive validity of the susceptibility construct was high and the construct can be used to predict other tobacco product and e-cigarette use among youth. Implications: This study presents the predictive validity of the susceptibility construct for the use of tobacco cigarettes among secondary school students in Ontario, Canada. It also presents a novel use of the susceptibility construct for predicting the use of e-cigarettes, cigarillos or little cigars, cigars, hookah, and smokeless tobacco among secondary school students in Ontario, Canada.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health