Cigarette and e-cigarette use and social perceptions over the transition to college: The role of ADHD symptoms.

Cigarette and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use prevalence increases during adolescence and peaks in young adulthood, with substantial increases during the transition from high school to college especially more recently for e-cigarette use. It is important to identify the underlying factors that serve as risk factors for tobacco use and social perceptions about cigarette and e-cigarette use. It is unknown whether attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms are associated with social perceptions about tobacco or increased tobacco use during the high school to college transition. This three timepoint prospective longitudinal study evaluates the reciprocal relationship between ADHD symptoms and social perceptions about tobacco as well as the frequency of cigarette and e-cigarette use in a sample of 150 high school seniors (Mage = 18.25, 66.0% female, 65.3% White) across the transition to college. ADHD symptoms in high school predicted increases in e-cigarette use during the first semester of college, and this association maintained through the end of the first year. ADHD symptoms predicted changes in social perceptions about cigarette and e-cigarette use after the transition to college. ADHD symptoms were predicted by social perceptions about e-cigarettes at the beginning of college. Understanding the psychosocial mechanisms underlying the pathways from ADHD symptoms to e-cigarette use may advance tobacco use etiology and prevention efforts, which is important considering the rapid growth in e-cigarette use among emerging adults. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)