Lowering the risk of nicotine dependence in cannabis users : an approach to assess determinants of cannabis users willingness to use nicotine free tobacco

Arning, L. (2014) Lowering the risk of nicotine dependence in cannabis users : an approach to assess determinants of cannabis users willingness to use nicotine free tobacco.

Abstract:In the past a lot of research has been done on the co-use of tobacco (TB) and marijuana (MJ). Most MJ users smoke their cannabis with TB and recent literature suggest that the highest risk of dual use may be an increased risk of becoming nicotine dependent. Within our present two studies we wanted to find out whether a nicotine free TB could be a possible alternative for MJ users. In 2013 a new nicotine free TB called 'Gold Magic' (GM) entered the market in Luxemburg and in the Netherlands. Within the second part of our study we gave a sample of this brand to 13 people who tested it. Before that we conducted an online survey and found 37 respondents (n=37) who filled in our questionnaire. The aim of the first study was to examine determinants that constitute respondents willingness to test nicotine free TB. We adopted determinants from 'Theory of Planned Behavior' (TPB) and the 'Prototype Willingness Model' (PWM). To measure respondents potential interest in GM we used three items that assessed willingness, instead of adopting items that measure intention like in the TPB. Since nicotine free TB is very new and probably not very prominent nowadays we thought that respondents cannot have a direct intention to use it yet. So we asked them in a hypothetical way how they would react when someone offered them nicotine free TB for smoking a joint at a friends party. Most items were taken from Solinski (2012) who attempted to identify differentials between different types of consumers using a sequential “career approach”. Furthermore we added a scale for outcome expectancies which are believed to influence attitude. Six respondents were found in a coffee shop in Enschede and for the other 31 we used snowball sampling strategy. The results revealed that MJ users willingness to test nicotine free TB for smoking a joint was rather low and that most were daily cigarette smokers. Means for other constructs were mostly average and respondents were often located in the 'undecided' category. Willingness was positively related to attitude (affective) and to perceived behavioral control (PBC) indicating that the more enjoyable respondents rated the use of nicotine free TB and the more control they felt over using it instead of common TB for smoking joints the more willing they were to test it. Furthermore we tested the relation between willingness and several distal determinants. 'Joints smoked per week' was negatively and 'intention to stop or reduce smoking MJ' was positively correlated to willingness. Thus, the more joints respondents smoked, during a normal week the less willing they were to use nicotine free TB for smoking a joint and the stronger the intention to stop or reduce smoking MJ the more willing they were. We performed multiple regression analysis to find out whether the proximal variables attitude (affective) and PBC added significant value to the prediction of willingness compared to when only distal variables were used. In the first model 'intention to stop or reduce smoking MJ' had unique explanatory value to the prediction of willingness, but was the overall contribution not significant. In the second model proximal variables significantly contributed to the variation in willingness. The significance of 'intention to stop or reduce smoking MJ' in the second model was decreased indicating a mediation effect via attitude (affective) or PBC which could not be confirmed by results of bivariate analysis in which we correlated these variables. However, we had a very small sample (n=37). In a greater sample effects that were found to be non significant within our sample could turn out significant. Eventually, the only determinant that had unique explanatory value for predicting willingness was PBC. PBC seems to have great influence on people's willingness and since most respondents were daily smokers we presume that most were addicted to nicotine already and felt therefore not very much in control over using nicotine free TB instead of common TB for smoking joints. In the second study we planned to give a sample of GM to a small group of MJ users and asked them to use it for a time period of one week for smoking joints. We found these people on two occasions at private parties and after each of them had smoked one joint with GM no one wanted to take the small sample of GM we offered to them in advance. They said that it tasted so bad and that they did not want to smoke any more joints with GM. In conclusion, neither were respondents willing to use nicotine free TB for smoking joints nor were they willing to sustain using it for a while after they had tested it. Due to several limitations such as sample size and sampling strategy we do not claim results to be representative of the whole research population. Furthermore, the nature of our study was exploratory, since it is a new study field and so our aim was not representativeness of the results, but to gain first insights into this new area. Therefore more research on this topic is needed.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/65968
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